On the afternoon of Monday, March 25, a Metro-North train collided with a dump trailer at the railroad crossing on Corbin Road. The accident resulted in the destruction of the trailer and significant damage to the train cars, but fortunately yielded only several minor injuries.
Prior to the accident, a tractor-trailer crossing the railroad tracks on Corbin Road became uncoupled, and the trailer portion remained in the path of the Metro-North train traffic on the Harlem line. An investigation into the cause of the detachment is currently being conducted.
At approximately 12:40 p.m., the southbound train collided with the trailer, spinning it 180 degrees and causing the destruction of the crossing signals as well as significant damage to the second train car. “The second car took the brunt of the hit,” explained Pawling Fire Chief Everett White. The force of the impact ultimately sent the trailer more than fifty feet from the site of the collision.
The southbound train was occupied by more than twenty passengers, as well as two crew members, a conductor, and an engineer. While onlookers at the scene were able to move to a safe distance, the impact caused a leg injury to a female passenger who was transported from the scene for treatment. Three Metro-North employees were also taken to a hospital as a precaution.
At 12:55 p.m., members of the Pawling Fire Department (PFD) were dispatched to the scene. More than twenty members of the PFD responded, including an engine and Fire Police. The department worked in cooperation with personnel from the Beekman Fire Department, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Department, NYSEG, and the New York State Police to secure the accident scene and help extricate passengers safely from the train. The accident resulted in the closure of Corbin Road for more than six hours and disrupted train service on the Harlem line for the remainder of the afternoon.
In the aftermath of the accident, PFD Chief Everett White lauded the conduct of his department in the face of an unfamiliar rescue scenario, saying, “It was a very proud moment for me to see the response. It was almost like we had done it before.” Chief White went on to further explain that he credits the department’s discipline and training for allowing for such a swift and effective response to the accident. “This is why we stress training and unified command,” added White. “I want to personally make sure that everyone is aware of the professionalism, speed, and compassion that our firefighters displayed throughout this incident. They should all be commended.”