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Mount Pleasant Calls For Closure Of Valhalla Metro-North Crossing

The Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla.
The Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla. Photo Credit: NTSB

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi wants to close the Commerce Street railroad crossing, the site of the deadly Metro-North train crash that killed six people and injured 15 others in Feb. 2015.

Fulgenzi's comments come in the wake of the National Transportation Safety Review Board's report released Tuesday. The NTSB's report primarily placed blame on Ellen Brody, a 49-year-old Edgemont resident, for driving onto the tracks after a crossing gate came down on her car.

The report also included a series of recommendations, including closing the railroad crossing, which Fulgenzi agreed with.

"It would be irresponsible for me to ignore their recommendations," Fulgenzi said.

The town engineer has discussed the matter with the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the State Department of Transportation, Fulgenzi said and they will look into the potential impact closing one railroad crossing will have. Fulgenzi said he wasn't surprised with the NTSB's report.

"We've been discussing it for over two years," Fulgenzi said. "There was nothing wrong with anything the town did. We don't handle or control the crossing. It's unfortunate that this woman made a mistake and that mistake took her life and the lives of five others.

Fulgenzi said he finds all railroad crossings to be dangerous but singled out the Cleveland Street crossing (near the Commerce Street crossing) in Valhalla, as being one that gives him pause, due to its close proximity to a restaurant.

Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) called for the MTA to adopt the NTSB's safety recommendations.

"Perhaps some good will come from this investigation," Murphy said. "There are clearly actions we can take to improve safety for riders and drivers alike to ensure they reach their final destination."

Also killed in the collision were: Bedford Hills residents Eric Vandercar, 53, and Walter Liedtke, 69; New Castle residents Robert Dirks, 36, and Joseph Nadol, 42; and Aditya Tomar, 41, of Danbury, Conn.

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