Train hits SUV, injuring woman

Victim was trying to clear CSX tracks in Rosedale

April 21, 2007|By Nick Shields | Nick Shields,sun reporter

A CSX train struck a sport utility vehicle yesterday in Rosedale, sending a Carney woman to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Baltimore County police said.

About 11:30 a.m., Julia Bonner, of the 2300 block of Covered Bridge Garth, attempted to cross tracks along Schaffers Road near the 8300 block of Pulaski Highway, as the train approached, police said.

Bonner, 40, put the GMC Envoy in reverse, but the train struck the vehicle before she could clear the tracks, police said.

Bonner was flown to Shock Trauma with nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.

Bob Sullivan, a CSX spokesman, said the train -- with three locomotives and 91 cars -- was headed from Albany, N.Y., to Waycross, Ga. He said the company would be working with Baltimore County officials to investigate the incident.

A witness reported hearing two short air-horn blasts from the train before the crash. Scott Reid, a shipping manager for a company several hundred yards from the tracks, said he and a co-worker rushed to help. When they reached Bonner's vehicle, she was breathing but was slumped on the passenger seat, Reid said.

Soon after, police officers and paramedics arrived, he said.

Reid said several wrecks at the Schaffers Road crossing have occurred since he began working at Northeastern Supply about two years ago.

"You hear those horns and it's just instinct to look up and see what's going on," he said.

Ellen Kobler, a Baltimore County spokeswoman, said the county is responsible for a small stretch of Schaffers Road up to the CSX right of way but not the crossing.

Five accidents at Schaffers Road have been reported to the Federal Railroad Administration since 1977, said Bob Herstein, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration. He said a white sign alerting motorists to tracks ahead is all that is required.

Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman, said the crash is under investigation.

nicholas.shields@baltsun.com

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