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Delaware woman dies after driving onto tracks

December 28, 1998|By DON AINES

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the death of a Delaware woman whose car was struck by a Conrail train in Antrim Township after she apparently drove onto the tracks Saturday night.

Anna McCusker, 53, of Dover, was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:57 p.m. by Franklin County Coroner Kenneth L. Peiffer Jr. An autopsy conducted Sunday at the Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, Pa., determined that she died of multiple trauma, according to Peiffer.

State police said the accident happened near a railroad crossing at Milnor Road, about a mile east of U.S. 11. The report by Trooper Gary Carter said McCusker "apparently positioned the ... vehicle on the railroad tracks."

"She was about 100 yards off Milnor Road" when the car was hit, according to Peiffer. He said the Chevy Cavalier sedan was on the tracks facing north when it was hit by the southbound freight train.

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"To the best of my knowledge it was stationary," he said of the car. The conductor told investigators the train was going about 37 mph at the time of the collision, Peiffer said.

State police said the impact forced the car off the tracks and into a field off Milnor Road. The police report said the accident happened at about 11 p.m. and Peiffer said the railroad notified police at 11:16 p.m.

The railroad crossing at Milnor Road, which runs east and west, is marked by signs but has no gates or lights, Peiffer said. He said McCusker was traveling from Dover to visit her brother in Antrim Township, but he did not release the man's name.

"I have no idea," Peiffer said when asked how the accident happened. Peiffer said a final determination would not be made until he and police have the results of toxicological tests.

No train personnel were injured in the accident and the engine sustained only minor front-end damage, according to police. Peiffer said the train was not derailed by the collision.

Conrail officials could not be reached Sunday.

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