Train hits car, driver faces charges

Staff Writer
Published: 3/16/2018 10:53:44 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A train struck a vehicle driven by a man who allegedly was drunk while crossing Route 5 on Thursday night. The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Northampton Police dispatchers responded at 12:27 a.m. to a report of a Blue Mazda CX5 that had collided with a train crossing Mount Tom Road. Responding officers found the vehicle operator, a 46-year-old man from Holyoke, at the scene outside the vehicle with minor injuries. The collision occurred in front of the Packaging Corporation of America at 525 Mount Tom Road.

According to Detective Sgt. Victor Caputo of the Northampton Police, officers noticed the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath and conducted a field sobriety test. Based on the results of that test, they determined the probable cause of the collision to be intoxication.

The driver will be summoned to court on charges of operating under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a railroad crossing violation, police said.

The train tracks that cross Route 5 are marked with red flashing lights to alert drivers of oncoming trains, according to Caputo, but there are no retractable arms to block traffic. In October 2015, two people were injured after colliding with a train at that intersection, after which the flashing lights were installed.

Sarah Robertson can be reached at srobertson@gazettenet.com.


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