Man suffers only slight injuries after car struck by freight train


ARLINGTON — A 78-year-old man suffered only minor injuries Monday afternoon when his car was struck by a freight train at a marked but unsignaled railroad crossing.

Arthur J. O'Dea, of Arlington, reported only having a headache after the crash at the intersection of Route 7A and Cemetery Road, according to a press release by Trooper Benjamin Barton of the Shaftsbury barracks. His vehicle, a 2001 Saab 95 Wagon, suffered extensive damage.

State police said O'Dea was travelling west on Cemetery Road just after 1 p.m. when he came upon the road's end and the intersection of Route 7, which paralells railroad tracks owned by Vermont Railway. The crossing is marked with railroad, stop and yield signs, but there are no warning lights or crossing gates to block the tracks. Drivers must stop before they can cross the railroad tracks and turn left or right on Route 7A.

O'Dea's vehicle stopped past the stop sign, according to state police. A passing freight train struck the Saab's front passenger side quarter panel and bumper causing the vehicle to spin and come to a position of uncontrolled rest. The train, a 2006 SD 70 Locomotive owned by Vermont Railway, stopped a short time after impact.

O'Dea was able to exit the vehicle on his own. The vehicle sustained extensive damage and was towed by Monarch Towing of Manchester. O'Dea was evaluated at the scene by Arlington Rescue Squad.

The Saab was a total loss, according to Arlington Fire Chief Jamie Paustian. State police said the train sustained minor damage and was able to continue operation after the collision. The engineer and conductor were not injured in the collision.

The Vermont Rail System, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and Arlington Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.

The incident is under investigation. Witnesses or anyone with information are being asked to contact the Vermont State Police in Shaftsbury at 802-442-5421.

Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979


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