Service on Metro-North’s Harlem line is suspended this morning following a deadly Westchester County crash that killed seven late yesterday afternoon.
The train out of Grand Central Terminal was going northbound on the Harlem line when it struck a Jeep Cherokee at the Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla at about 6:30 p.m., officials said. The Jeep was stopped on the tracks when the railroad crossing gates came down on top of it, according to MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan. The driver got out to look at the back of the car, then got back in and drove forward when the train struck the Jeep, pushing it about 10 train-car lengths up the track. The Jeep driver and six passengers on the train were killed in the crash, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference Tuesday night. The crash is the deadliest in the history of the Metro-North Railroad. Six hundred and fifty people were on board train No. 659, which departed Grand Central at 5:45 p.m. The train made one stop at 125th Street in Harlem before it proceeded express toward Chappaqua, the MTA said.
Some passengers were forced to smash train doors and windows to escape the flames. Federal investigators are on the scene. Metro-North’s last fatal incident took place just over a year ago when four were killed after the engineer fell asleep at the controls.