Hudson Valley marks 5 years since deadly Metro-North crash in ValhallaPosted: Updated:
Monday marked the five-year anniversary of the Metro-North crash in Valhalla that took the lives of six people.
Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi says Feb. 3, 2015 is a day he will never forget. It was the day the deadliest Metro-North train accident in history happened in his quiet community.
"We are not used to tragedy like this, it’s probably something we will remember the rest of our lives,” says Fulgenzi.
Six people died and 15 others were injured when the SUV of Ellen Brody became trapped between crossing gates and was hit by a Metro-North train at the Commerce Street crossing. Since the crash, some say little to no action has been taken to improve safety at the crossing, which has more than 1,000 vehicles cross it every single day.
"Five years later, nothing has changed at the crossing, the safety study supposed to evaluate the crossing is three years late,” says state Sen. Pete Harckham.
Harckham says the New York state Department of Transportation hasn't completed that study. He wants the DOT, MTA and the U.S. Department of Transportation to form a plan of action to replace dangerous crossings like this one--with bridges or overpasses.
Something similar is being done on the Long Island Rail Road, where eight grade crossings are being eliminated.
"We shouldn’t have to have a tragedy to get motivated to advocate for public safety,” says Harckham.
Harckham suggests tapping into the $1.5 billion in congestion pricing revenues coming to the Hudson Valley to pay for safety improvements.
The MTA said safety is the railroad’s highest priority. A spokesperson says the MTA has partnered with Google and Waze to warn motorists when they are approaching Metro-North crossings. It has also increased MTA police enforcement.