Car doesn’t slow before Mich. rail crossing

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Posted on 13th July 2009 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The power of a train, the tragedy of young people killed, now all on video. It is ironic how much of our law regarding the automobile and safety revolve around trains and teen age driver wrecks. Today, we can pause and remember and say a prayer for safety.

Attorney Gordon Johnson
http://fishtail.tv
http://tbilaw.com

Date: 7/10/2009 2:32 PM


DAVID RUNK,Associated Press Writer


DETROIT (AP) — The car carrying five young people never slows as it approaches a rail crossing near Detroit, and drives right past a car that had been stopped there for several seconds — just before an Amtrak train rushes through the crossing.

Police released a copy of a surveillance video Friday that captured the crash a day earlier, in which the five people were killed after skirting the railroad gate about 20 miles west of Detroit. At the wheel, according to police and state records, was a 19-year-old man with a suspended license.

“There is no indication alcohol or anything else was involved other than bad judgment,” Canton Township police spokesman Sgt. Mark Gajeski said.

Dan Broughton of Woodhaven, a Detroit suburb, was driving, Gajeski said. State records show he had a number of traffic violations, including speeding and disobeying a stop sign in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park on Jan. 7. His failure to show a driver’s license April 1 in Woodhaven led a judge to suspend his license for one month — a suspension that began Wednesday.

Friends and family at Broughton’s home declined to comment to an Associated Press reporter on Friday.

Authorities released more information Friday on the victims and audio from a 911 report of the crash. Gajeski said he expected that the medical examiner’s office would run toxicology tests, which could take weeks, but police said there was no indication drugs played a factor.

Investigators said the crossing had a gate and flashing lights that were working when the car approached. Police said the train, which was carrying about 170 people, typically travels about 67 miles per hour at the site of the crash. It broadsided the black Ford Fusion and pushed it about a mile down the tracks.

Police said the train was traveling within the allowed speed limit.

“There is no one to be charged,” Gajeski said. “From witness statements and the video, the person just ran the gate.”

A day after the crash, memorials including a bouquet of white carnations were left at the crossing.

Canton Township police said the others killed were Sean Harris and Eddie Gross of Taylor and Terrence Harris of Stafford, Va. Family members say Sean was 19 and also lived in Detroit; Terrence was 21; and Gross was 17. The mother of 14-year-old Jessica Sadler said Thursday the girl was among those killed.

No one aboard the train was injured, Amtrak said.

Last year, 119 people died nationwide in Amtrak accidents, usually when trains struck vehicles or pedestrians at railroad crossings, according to figures from the Federal Railroad Administration. Eleven people died in train accidents of all types in Michigan in 2008, according to Federal Railroad Administration data.

___

Associated Press Writers David N. Goodman in Woodhaven, Ben Leubsdorf in Canton Township, Corey Williams in Detroit and David Eggert in Lansing contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
Summary
Date: 7/10/2009 2:32 PM
Slug: BC-US–Train Hits Car,7th Ld-Writethru
Headline: Video: Car doesn’t slow before Mich. rail crossing
Source:
Byline: DAVID RUNK,Associated Press Writer
Copyright Holder: AP
Priority: r (4)
With Photo:
Dateline: DETROIT
Lead
Editors’ Note: Eds: UPDATES with police releasing additional information about victims, detail of memorial at scene of crash.
Word Count: 503
File Name (Transref): L0892
Editorial Type: Lead
AP Category: a
Format: bx





Edit Mode : Cancel


DETROIT (AP) — The car carrying five young people never slows as it approaches a rail crossing near Detroit, and drives right past a car that had been stopped there for several seconds — just before an Amtrak train rushes through the crossing. Police released a copy of a surveillance video Friday that captured the crash a day earlier, in which the five people were killed after skirting the railroad gate about 20 miles west of Detroit. At the wheel, according to police and state records, was a 19-year-old man with a suspended license. “There is no indication alcohol or anything else was involved other than bad judgment,” Canton Township police spokesman Sgt. Mark Gajeski said. Dan Broughton of Woodhaven, a Detroit suburb, was driving, Gajeski said. State records show he had a number of traffic violations, including speeding and disobeying a stop sign in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park on Jan. 7. His failure to show a driver’s license April 1 in Woodhaven led a judge to suspend his license for one month — a suspension that began Wednesday. Friends and family at Broughton’s home declined to comment to an Associated Press reporter on Friday. Authorities released more information Friday on the victims and audio from a 911 report of the crash. Gajeski said he expected that the medical examiner’s office would run toxicology tests, which could take weeks, but police said there was no indication drugs played a factor. Investigators said the crossing had a gate and flashing lights that were working when the car approached. Police said the train, which was carrying about 170 people, typically travels about 67 miles per hour at the site of the crash. It broadsided the black Ford Fusion and pushed it about a mile down the tracks. Police said the train was traveling within the allowed speed limit. “There is no one to be charged,” Gajeski said. “From witness statements and the video, the person just ran the gate.” A day after the crash, memorials including a bouquet of white carnations were left at the crossing. Canton Township police said the others killed were Sean Harris and Eddie Gross of Taylor and Terrence Harris of Stafford, Va. Family members say Sean was 19 and also lived in Detroit; Terrence was 21; and Gross was 17. The mother of 14-year-old Jessica Sadler said Thursday the girl was among those killed. No one aboard the train was injured, Amtrak said. Last year, 119 people died nationwide in Amtrak accidents, usually when trains struck vehicles or pedestrians at railroad crossings, according to figures from the Federal Railroad Administration. Eleven people died in train accidents of all types in Michigan in 2008, according to Federal Railroad Administration data. ___ Associated Press Writers David N. Goodman in Woodhaven, Ben Leubsdorf in Canton Township, Corey Williams in Detroit and David Eggert in Lansing contributed to this report.

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