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Old 02-05-2015, 10:28 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,278,936 times
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The driver Ellen Brody was in slow moving traffic gridlock when she got stuck on the tracks between
the two rail crossing gates as they came down and the train approached.

Scene of accident
https://goo.gl/maps/XDLs5


If you were unlucky enough to get stuck between the gates it should have been very easy
to drive into the dirt and around the gates to avoid collision with the train. But she didn't do that.
Unless the Google map image is outdated and some kind of obstruction prevented her from driving
around the gates. But the image is from the article and they didn't say anything about it
being outdated. Pretty strange she didn't seem to make any attempt to avoid collision but actually drove directly
into the path of the train as it got very close according to the witness.
Either she was committing suicide or was drunk or really high on something.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:38 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,966,948 times
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I've seen something similar happen before. Here:
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.2812...qBWq-GP3RA!2e0

An older woman was trying to turn right down one of the narrow side streets in the dark, got spooked, turned down the tracks instead. As soon as her front wheels left the asphalt she was stuck on the tracks. We were screaming at her to get out of the car for a few minutes but she was just sitting there spinning her front wheels trying to get unstuck. Finally she got out of the car but these were the days before everyone had cell phones ('97 I think) so the train wound up hitting her car in a fairly low speed collision but it was destroyed nonetheless.

That google image from the Metro North crossing is from 2007 and if they haven't upgraded their gates by now then they really do suck. Check how long the NJT gates are in my link above. Anyway, if she was caught between the gates when the arms went down and couldn't go forward because people were in front of her (she should be posthumously charged with murder) she may have just panicked and got herself stuck. If there were longer arms there it's a lot easier to see how she would end up on the tracks trying to go around them - especially if there was no room to go forward.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:21 AM
 
410 posts, read 391,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I've seen something similar happen before. Here:
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.2812...qBWq-GP3RA!2e0

An older woman was trying to turn right down one of the narrow side streets in the dark, got spooked, turned down the tracks instead. As soon as her front wheels left the asphalt she was stuck on the tracks. We were screaming at her to get out of the car for a few minutes but she was just sitting there spinning her front wheels trying to get unstuck. Finally she got out of the car but these were the days before everyone had cell phones ('97 I think) so the train wound up hitting her car in a fairly low speed collision but it was destroyed nonetheless.

That google image from the Metro North crossing is from 2007 and if they haven't upgraded their gates by now then they really do suck. Check how long the NJT gates are in my link above. Anyway, if she was caught between the gates when the arms went down and couldn't go forward because people were in front of her (she should be posthumously charged with murder) she may have just panicked and got herself stuck. If there were longer arms there it's a lot easier to see how she would end up on the tracks trying to go around them - especially if there was no room to go forward.
Really?
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:21 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,976 posts, read 7,643,229 times
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I haven't heard any evidence at all that she was "stuck" on the tracks, trapped between cars that blocked her movement.

The easily breakable bar came down on her Mercedes 30+ seconds after the lights began flashing and warning bells while she was in traffic, she got out to check whether her luxury SUV got scratched while the red lights were flashing and the warning bell clanging, she completely failed to comprehend her dire situation and she stupidly chose to drive into the train instead of backing up where there was plenty of room. She was a person who was incapable of making life safety decisions while operating a vehicle when it mattered and she paid for it with her life. Unfortunately her blatent incompetence and stupidity took with her the lives of five completely innocent people.

No one who has a brain enters a railroad crossing in slow moving traffic unless they are certain they can get through it.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:49 PM
 
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She had plenty of time to back out of the way but decided to use up those precious seconds
to inspect the damage to her SUV after the gate came down on it. By the time the train was upon her
it was so close she had no time to react and in her panic mistakenly drove forward onto the tracks
instead of back. Well that's our wonderful pretentious car culture for you. People tend to value personal property over
human life including their own.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
Really?
. . . to which part?
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:43 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,966,948 times
Reputation: 1954
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
I haven't heard any evidence at all that she was "stuck" on the tracks, trapped between cars that blocked her movement.
I didn't say that this driver was stuck - just that I've seen it before and it's easier to do than people think.

I spent most of my young life within walking distance of a busy commuter line with a lot of grade crossings. You grew up learning about it in school, hearing the warnings on the radio, and seeing the commercials on TV. The woman proved herself an idiot the second she stopped her car on the tracks.

If she did indeed get out of her car to inspect for damage from the crossing gates then case closed.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:54 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,966,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
She had plenty of time to back out of the way but decided to use up those precious seconds
to inspect the damage to her SUV after the gate came down on it. By the time the train was upon her
it was so close she had no time to react and in her panic mistakenly drove forward onto the tracks
instead of back. Well that's our wonderful pretentious car culture for you. People tend to value personal property over
human life including their own.
She was an idiot for pulling on to the tracks if there was no room to continue across them.

If she's in "slow moving traffic gridlock" as in the OP then assuming that the gates are exactly the same as in streetview then if the gate goes down behind her she's free to pull forward . . . but not if there's a car sitting there . . . which would've been the case because why else would she have stopped on the tracks.

Even if she wanted to back up through the gate there's probably another car behind her and a whole line of traffic behind that. There also would've been cars coming from the other direction also stopped at the gate so even if she wanted to crash through that gate to pull up on the wrong side of the road it wouldn't have been possible. Her only way out then would've been to do a K-turn and go back from the way she just came.

If she's in a big SUV then she may very well have been getting out so see how much room she had to maneuver. Idiotic on many counts but, again, not the sharpest knife in the drawer and she clearly won the Darwin award the second she stopped on the tracks.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:59 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,278,936 times
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The witnesses said they backed their vehicles to give her plenty of space to get out of there
and motioned for her to back up. But she was too busy inspecting the damage to her car
and wasn't paying attention to them. She might have been talking on her cell phone as well.

There was no time for a K turn or U turn. The quickest simplest thing to do was to simply back up.
She wasted many critical seconds getting out of her car (a crazy thing to do) so there was no time
to turn around. All she had to do was back up a couple of feet. But by the time she got back into her car it
was too late. On the bright side however she did earn herself a Darwin award. Even if there were cars behind
her blocking her way all she had to do was back up at an angle to avoid them and drive into the dirt where there
were no other cars and she would be safe.
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:35 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,966,948 times
Reputation: 1954
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
The witnesses said they backed their vehicles to give her plenty of space to get out of there
and motioned for her to back up. But she was too busy inspecting the damage to her car
and wasn't paying attention to them. She might have been talking on her cell phone as well.
SMH. yeah, try her in absentia, posthumous negligent homicide conviction.
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