Lawmakers call for changes following NTSB report on Metro-North crashPosted: Updated:
Lawmakers are calling for changes following an NTSB report that ruled driver error as the cause of the deadliest crash in Metro-North history.
On Feb. 3, 2015, Ellen Brody, of Edgemont, drove her Mercedes SUV onto the tracks in Valhalla. The 49-year-old got out to inspect the damage and then got back in her car. However, instead of reversing off the tracks, she drove forward, and that's when the northbound Harlem line train struck the vehicle. Brody and five Metro-North passengers died in the crash.
Assemblyman Tom Abinanti is calling on the MTA and the state Department of Transportation to improve safety at every rail crossing in the state.
"We've required that the state DOT do a report which was due April 1 of this year. It's now three months late. We've required they do a report on the grade crossings across the state of New York because we want to know what drivers see and don't see,” says Abinanti.
Legislation passed in 2016 and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo requires an uptick in safety inspections at rail crossings. Assemblyman David Buchwald says more needs to be done.
"It is essential that both Metro-North and the DOT implement their recommendations as soon as possible. This is something that is too serious,” says Buchwald.
With rumors that the Commerce Street rail crossing could close, News 12 went back to Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi, who said he's glad liability for this accident could be taken away from the town and that he is willing to comply with whatever the NTSB recommends, even if that means closing the crossing.