Police: If stuck on tracks, leave car immediately, call 911

When a car got stuck on train tracks at Branchville station Friday morning, police and Metro-North were notified and a tow truck was able to move it. No one was hurt and crews from Metro-North arrived to make sure the tracks are passable. It was a fortunate resolution to a potentially catastrophic situation.

Ridgefield police say that in that situation, people should get everyone out of the car, get away from it and call 911 — not try to get it unstuck themselves.

A fiery crash last month involving an SUV on tracks in New York left several people dead.

Get everyone out of the vehicle immediately and leave all of your possessions in the vehicle,” said Police Capt. Jeff Kreitz. “Immediately move away from the vehicle and tracks and call 911 to advise the authorities of the situation so that train service can be stopped.”

“If a train is coming and a collision is imminent, run in the direction that the train is coming from (away from the tracks) in order to avoid being struck by the vehicle or debris from the collision,” he added.

Capt. Kreitz said that the operator of the vehicle mistakenly turned off of Portland Avenue onto the train tracks thinking that it was the roadway.

“Once the operator turned off of the roadway onto the tracks the vehicle got stuck in the snow,” he said.

“MTA Police as well as a MTA maintenance crew responded to ensure that there was no damage to the tracks,” he added.

Capt. Kreitz also gave the follow basic safety tips for anyone driving near train tracks:

  • Obey all signals
  • Never stop on the train tracks
  • Never drive around a downed crossing gate
  • Remember trains cannot stop quickly