Victim of New Brunswick Train Accident Still Unidentified
The identity of the woman killed yesterday by an Amtrak train in New Brunswick is still unknown.
The woman who was killed by an Amtrak train late yesterday afternoon at New Brunswick still has not been identified.
The accident caused a major disruption yesterday of train traffic along the entire Northeast Corridor line from New York through Trenton. Into the evening hours, trains were running as much as an hour late along that line and other New Jersey lines that snake off that main train line, such as the North Jersey Coast spur that runs through Woodbridge to shore points.
The victim was hit by an Amtrak express train called the Keystone around 4:30 pm just west of the New Brunswick train station in downtown section of the city, said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole.
The accident occurred west of the New Brunswick station, Cole said. Although it's unclear if the woman's death was an accident or suicide, witnesses at the New Brunswick station said in other reports that the woman had deliberately gotten off the platform and laid down in the path of the speeding train.
"We haven't been given any feedback as to the identity of the trespasser," Cole said, referring to the victim as a trespasser since it's illegal for any pedestrians to be on Amtrak train tracks at any time.
The Keystone was not scheduled to stop at the New Brunswick train station, Cole said. The express train was traveling from New York City to Harrisburg, PA, via Philadelphia. The only two stops the train was to make in New Jersey were at Newark and Trenton, Cole said.
None of the more than 130 passengers on board the Keystone were injured. The train was traveling at speeds of up to 135 mph when it struck the woman.
"When a train is going that fast, there's no chance to stop the train," Cole said. "When it strikes an individual at that speed, the results are usually tragic."
With 22 dead in 2010, New Jersey had the fifth largest number of trespasser train fatalities such as the one that happened in New Brunswick yesterday, according to federal statistics compiled by Operation Lifesaver, a rail safety education website.
Nationwide, 451 pedestrians were killed last year in similar train incidents.
Both New Brunswick police and NJ Transit officials were at the scene of yesterday's accident. Cole said because Amtrak owns both the train and the tracks involved in the woman's death, they were serving as the lead investigation agency of the incident.
The Middlesex County medical examiner was also called to the scene. No autopsy report has yet been released.