Driver crashes into train tracks, sets off fire

Posted: Updated:
VALHALLA -

Things are getting back to normal on Metro-North's Harlem line after a fire on the tracks near the Valhalla train station Wednesday.

Authorities say an 81-year-old SUV driver stepped on the gas instead of the brake, went through a fence and hit the railing around 4 p.m. The driver immediately reversed off the tracks, but the crash impacted the third rail, which is the power rail on the northbound line, and sparked a small fire.

The incident occurred moments before a northbound train from the city arrived at the station.

Approximately 250 people on that northbound train were transferred onto another train.

No one was injured, including the driver of the vehicle.

The area is the same spot were a similar accident happened almost two years ago. Authorities say they may now look at reinforcing the railings. Train riders are dismayed that this marks the second time this same type of accident has happened here. "I don't really know what else to do other than putting up a stronger fence, but it's mind boggling it's happened a couple of times in the past few years" says Valhalla resident Mike Orlay.

There were heavy delays in service after the crash, but trains are running on or close to schedule today.

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