NJ Transit train collides with car in Ho-Ho-Kus

Joe Torres reports from Ho-Ho-Kus.
January 20, 2014 3:00:44 PM PST
A New Jersey Transit train struck a vehicle at Holywood Avenue crossing in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey on Monday morning.

Ask the locals and they'll tell you it happens there all the time.

Drivers trying to beat the oncoming train by darting across the railroad tracks before the gate comes down or even worse circling around the gate after it's down.

"If you're trying to go half way across the track and the train is down at the station and the gate starts to come down, you know that the train is far away but it still is scary," said LeAnn Raimondo.

Just after 9:00 a.m. on Monday a west-bound New Jersey transit train plowed into this Nissan Altima, pushing the car 150-feet down the tracks. The driver survived the crash. Emergency crews extricated him from the vehicle and rushed him to Hackensack University Medical Center with serious injuries.

The four passengers and four crew members on the train were not hurt.

New Jersey transit says investigators will examine the train's black box for information about what led up to the crash.

"As part of any investigation there are a number of factors that go into play. You'll interview the customers, you'll interview the crew members, you'll make sure that all devices such as crossing gates are operating as intended. It's an extensive investigation," said John Durso with NJ Transit.

The victim will be given two citations. One for careless driving and one for disregarding a traffic control device.

In the meantime, there is a common sense lesson to be learned here and it's pretty simple.

"If a railroad gate goes down, please stop. We want all of our customers and our communities to be safe.