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Man struck, killed by train in Westwood

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 26-year-old man was struck and killed by a NJ Transit train in Westwood moments before midnight last night, after a woman he was with was arrested in town .

An NJ Transit spokesman early this morning confirmed that the victim, Robert DeRosa of Washington Township, “either stood or laid down on the tracks and did not attempt to move” before being struck.

Meanwhile, Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino confirmed that DeRosa earlier yesterday was with a woman who was picked up on a warrant and taken to the Passaic County Jail.

The heavily wooded area where Derosa was struck, between Kingsberry and Lester avenues, is little more than 500 feet from the Emerson border. The property of NJ Transit, it can be accessed from the south by walking north along the tracks.

The engineer of the southbound Pascack Valley line train to Hoboken sounded the horn nearly five seconds, during which a faint sound of impact was heard by neighbors.

“I’ve heard that sound before,” one of them told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “I knew what it was.”

“There’s only one reason he’d blow the horn that long,” said another.

Several emergency crews converged on the dead-ended area of Kingsberry that leads to Memorial Field. This gave them access to the area south toward Lester.

Two passengers were aboard the train, which was due in Emerson at 11:58 p.m., NJ Transit spokesman John Durso told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . Both were transported to buses, he said.

Westwood police were first on the scene, followed quickly by borough firefighters and Emerson police. Westwood’s Heavy Rescue squad also responded, along with a borough ambulance crew. NJ Transit detectives arrived soon after.

A medical examiner pronounced DeRosa dead at the scene.

The train finally was able to continue on at 2:25 a.m., two and a half hours after the incident.

Another man was struck in “eerily similar” circumstances in Fair Lawn this morning — the fourth time in two weeks a pedestrian has been struck by an NJ Transit train ( SEE: Another train death, this time in Fair Lawn ).

The total also includes an NJ Transit train strike in Matawan yesterday and in Garfield July 24.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The original story incorrectly identified who was taken into custody yesterday in Westwood.)

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