Long Ridge Road crossing: Settlement reached in deadly 2012 train accident

The town of Redding has reached a $30,000 settlement with the estates of the two people killed when a train struck a car at the Long Ridge Road railroad crossing in Redding on Dec. 30, 2012.

Attorney Thomas R. Gerarde of Howd & Ludorf in Hartford said $15,000 is going to the estate of each of those killed.

Gerarde was assigned by Trident Insurance Service in Texas, the insurance carrier for the case, to represent the town of Redding in this matter. He worked on the case for about two years.

“It would have been far more expensive to try these cases to verdict — even though we likely would have won, than to pay the settlements — so the insurance carrier made the decision to make the low settlement payments,” Gerarde said.

A lawsuit against Metro-North had also been filed by the attorneys representing the survivors and victims of the crash. Judd Everhart, director of communications with the

Connecticut Department of Transportation, said he did not have any comment on the settlement.

According an article published by The Redding Pilot in January 2013, Metro-North police, who conducted the investigation, said a Subaru was traveling south over the tracks when it was struck by the train, which was carrying no passengers, at 1:20 p.m.

Jausheema Perkins and Wayne Balacky, both Danbury residents, died in the crash.

The car was driven by Perkins, who died at Danbury Hospital days after the crash. Balacky, a passenger, was pronounced dead at Danbury Hospital after the crash.

Attorney Joel T. Faxon of Faxon Law Group in New Haven, who represents Fakeem Morning and James Redmond of Danbury, the two surviving  passengers in the car, could not be reached for comment.

Harold Rosnick, the attorney representing Balacky’s parents, could not be reached for comment.

In April 2013, vehicle gates were installed by Metro-North and the Department of Transportation.

In a prior Pilot article, Faxon said his two clients’ medical bills “are each well into six figures.”

He said the two men suffered a range of orthopedic injuries, including a broken pelvis and femur fracture.

In July 2013, Redmond and Morning’s suit was consolidated with a suit filed by the parents of Balacky to form one single lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport.

After being stalled because of lack of funds for more than two decades, plans are now in the final stages for the realignment of the Long Ridge Road rail crossing. Work on the project, which is estimated at about $2 million, will begin in the spring of 2019.

The purpose of the project is to reconstruct and realign Long Ridge Road, Sidecut Road and Simpaug Turnpike to better accommodate low-clearance vehicles and to improve sight distances.

On April 4, the Connecticut Department of Transportation will submit its final plans to move forward with the project.