WILMINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - MBTA officials placed a Keolis worker on administrative leave after a fatal Commuter Rail crash in Wilmington last week, and local officials are calling on the T to ensure safety at the site.
Police responding to reports of a crash on Middlesex Avenue near the North Wilmington Station found a inbound Haverhill Line train had struck a car, officials said. The driver, 68-year-old Roberta Sausville Devine, of Wilmington, was pronounced dead at the scene.
MBTA officials said the the railroad crossing gates did not come down on time and are looking at “human error,” according to T General Manager Steve Poftak. He said a Keolis worker had been testing the safety system an hour before the crash and did not return the system to normal.
“Following the testing, our preliminary finding is that the safety system was not returned to its normal operating mode. This failure resulted in the crossing gates not coming down in a timely manner as the train approached Middlesex Avenue,” Poftak said in the statement. “Investigators have not found any defects nor any other problems with the various elements that comprise the infrastructure of the railroad crossing system.”
But Wilmington Town manager Jeffrey Hull said residents want to be sure the crossing area is safe.
“People are shaken by this and have some measure of concern about the safety of crossing the tracks,” Hull said. “It’s incumbent on the MBTA to provide a level of assurance that crossing mechanisms are working appropriately.”
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