A 19-year-old New Jersey woman was hit by a train and killed while attempting to drive across a set of railroad tracks. According to witness reports, the woman had steered her SUV around the track's lowered crossing gates when a New Jersey Coast Line train in transit from Long Beach to Bay Head approached. The train struck the vehicle, fatally injuring the woman. No one else was in the vehicle, and none of the train's 12 passengers were injured.
Upon arriving at the scene of the car accident, emergency first responders declared the young woman dead. Police closed the tracks and nearby roads for almost four hours as they investigated the crash. However, the investigation remains ongoing.
New Jersey spokesman Dan Stessel later confirmed that the flashing lights, bells and crossing gates were fully operational at the time of the accident. It is unknown why the woman steered her car around the lowered gates and onto the tracks. Transit officials have conducted repairs to fix the lights and gates affected by the deadly crash.
The woman was a native of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, and was a 2010 graduate of Point Pleasant High School. She was a freshman at Rutgers University Business School.
The fatal accident was the third known incident thus far in April involving the New Jersey Coast Line Trains. The first took place on April 17, when a 17-year-old from Long Branch was killed by a train after he laid down on the train tracks. Then, on April 4, a 15-year-old boy was injured while walking along the tracks with headphones in his ears.
Source: Daily Record, "Cops: Point Pleasant teen, 19, killed after car passed rail crossing", Michelle Gladden, 10 April 2011