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Fatal train accident probe could take weeks

June 19, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Maryland Transit Administration's investigation of an accident Thursday that killed a Jefferson County, W.Va., teenager who was struck by a MARC train near Van Clevesville Road could take six to eight weeks to complete, MTA spokeswoman Cheron Wicker said Friday.

The deceased boy's name was not available Friday night.

Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth M. Lemaster Jr. said Friday the boy and a friend were riding bicycles down the track. The boy was unable to get off the rail line before the five-car train passed through, Lemaster said.

Train 883 was carrying 70 passengers and crew members to Martinsburg, the last stop on the MARC's Brunswick Line, at about 7:30 p.m. when the accident occurred east of Van Clevesville Road, Wicker said.

The train was scheduled to arrive in Martinsburg at 7:41 p.m., she said.

The engineer of Train 883 was taken to the hospital Thursday night after complaining of chest pains following the accident, Wicker said.

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She did not know the employee's medical condition Friday afternoon, Wicker said.

All of the passengers arranged for transportation from the accident scene, so the train arrived in Martinsburg at 9:56 p.m. with empty cars, Wicker said.

An officer with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department said Friday that railroad crossing equipment near where the boy was struck was working properly and that he had not found the train operator at fault.

Units from the Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department and Berkeley County Emergency Ambulance Authority responded to the call.

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