SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

October 28, 2013

Police: Driver crashes after driving on train tracks

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — BEVERLY — A 46-year-old Salem woman was arrested Friday night on a drunken-driving charge after she drove her SUV a half-mile down train tracks and crashed it at depot train station — with her 5-year-old son in the vehicle, police said.

Michelle Leclair was also charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment of a child and marked lanes violation, police said.

A witness flagged down officers on routine patrol on Elliot Street (Route 62) around 9:55 p.m. and reported a vehicle had just turned onto the train tracks heading toward the depot.

“Officers immediately observed a vehicle’s taillights traveling down the railroad tracks,” wrote Beverly police in a statement.

Leclair crossed over the Federal Street train bridge before getting the Ford Explorer stuck after crashing at the station, police said. A picture of the crash was posted on the Beverly Fire Department’s Facebook page with the front driver’s side wheel smashed into a walkway. “MBTA train stopped in both directions,” the post read.

It is unknown how long the tracks were closed as crews removed the vehicle.

Leclair was taken into custody and transported to the Beverly Police Station. The child was transported to Beverly Hospital by ambulance as a precaution, the statement said.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at jphelps@salemnews.com.