Saturday, March 28, 2009

Off Topic: Darwin Theory?

So, there I was ... innocently riding the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line train to work today. (No, I didn't see Roofus the Cat as it was very damp out this morning.) As usual, the train was approaching my departure station, so I was up waiting in the vestibule as it stopped.

Um. It stopped way before the station. The conductor messed with the doors, then got a message over his radio.

"Okay, everyone. Back to your seats. We hit a car."

Huh? None of us felt anything. So I returned to my seat and looked out the window. (Clicking on any of the images will open them larger in a new window.)

The dark bracket-looking thing on the other side of the brush in front of the car is the back bumper of the car.

A conductor checking on the woman in the car before police and rescue personnel arrived. She's hurt, but more like a stopping train hit her, not a speeding train.

The cops line the road on the other side of the train.

The gates were down, the clanging things a'ringing, and the train blew its horn before hitting the car. Either the woman thought the train was going to stop (as it was slowing for the station) and she could go through the gates or she thought she could beat the train. Nope!

Before the fire department arrived with the Jaws of Life, a Bridgewater police officer tried to shift the air bag so she could be a bit more comfortable.

If the train had been going at its highest speed through here, there would be no car. As it was, you saw the bumper. Car parts were strewn for about twenty feet, the car spun totally around once and ended up heading the same direction it was originally headed. It also hit a NJ Transit huge grey electrical stuff box/building.

Looking out the other window again.

There. She's out on the stretcher and ready to go away. We were stuck inside the train for over a half-hour. Although the front of the train was actually in the station where I wanted to be, they wouldn't let us out for liability reasons. After she was taken away in the ambulance, the lights on the train went out and we were told everyone had to walk to the front of the train and get out. Dang, I never realized how long the train actually is! For the ride in the morning, only the last two cars are open for passengers.

I was lucky -- it was my station. But anyone wanting to go further west was stuck there as the train had to stay for all kinds of investigation. I went off to work, just a bit late. Had I not been at work, I would have tried to sell some of the photos to news sources in the area. But it's old news now.

NJ Star Ledger article
NJ Courier News - UPDATE: Woman avoids serious injuries after train hits her car in Bridgewater
(I think we nudged it hard rather than slammed into it!)
WCBS erroneously reported two people were in the car. It was just the woman.


lynn1 said...

WOW Jackie what an experience, Your photos certainly well documented the aftermath of the accident.
I am very glad you were not hurt.

I once was on a train in Switzerland that hit and killed a cow. It is an experience I will never forget.

TerryinCA said...

WOW! Nothing like on the scene news reporting!
Thanks Jackie

Jennasmom said...

Any update on the poor lady in the train?
Hope she was okay.

Great photos, by the way!

Jennasmom said...

Whoops, I meant poor lady in the car.....

Anonymous said...

LOL Jackie you always seem to find the excitement (or does it find you?). Interesting how we notice errors in the news media when we have personal knowledge of the story, eh? (I work next door to Bernie Madoff's former acct. At least he used to work there, ALONE, without 2 other people & it is NOT an ugly strip mall!) LOL my word verification is notyring.

Delee said...

Jackie, your neck of the wood has all the excitment. Too bad you had to sit and wait, but you got pictures to prove why you were late for work. None of this, "I was late because my train hit a car!" "Don't believe me here are the pictures".

People always think they can beat the train but it can not stop on a dime. Sorry for the lady, but glad the train stayed on the track and no one else was hurt, esp, YOU.

See ya all for AR

Jackie said...

The woman was treated and released. I'm sure she's feeling all kinds of aches and pains today, but she suffered no serious injuries, not even a broken bone. If this had been very serious, I probably wouldn't have posted the photos. Oh ... I do believe the car is dead.

And Delee -- I did use the "I have pictures" excuse!

QuixoticElf said...

Wow! Glad that you are okay. You sure had a front row seat for all the action. That woman was extremely lucky.

We have a train stop that is right next to a road as well, and one of these days I'm afraid something like that may happen.

Laurie said...

I love your title for this news story. Why do people do such idiotic things is beyond what my practical brain can figure out. She is very lucky the train was coming to a stop. Great photos!

bwcky said...

I can't believe anyone tries to beat a train. She is a very fortunate woman.

Sydney said...

wow Jackie ==

I just got the chance to read all this. Never a dull moment, and you are a great reporter of it all. Glad you weren't hurt, btw... amazing you didn't feel a thing, but if you all were in the last two cars of a very long train, maybe that's why.