SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 27, 2013

Woman survives commuter train strike

Neighbors rush to her aid, say she was calm, polite

GLOUCESTER — An unidentified woman was struck by a northbound MBTA commuter rail train and pinned under the front of the engine yesterday morning near the intersection of Willow and Cedars streets in Gloucester, suffering what the MBTA said were “non-life-threatening injuries.”

The accident, which occurred just before 9 a.m., shut down service on the Rockport line for about 90 minutes, as passengers were shifted to bus service until rail service resumed around 10:30 a.m., MBTA spokeswoman Kelly Smith said.

Smith said the woman was transported to Beverly Hospital for treatment.

According to witnesses, the woman was standing on the west side of the tracks, near where the rail crossings at Willow and Cedar streets intersect, when the No. 103 train out of North Station approached from nearby Gloucester station.

“I heard the (train) horn blowing and saw the train going slower and slower,” said Peter Luoni, who witnessed the incident while sitting in a lawn chair in the driveway of 12 Cedar St., which abuts the tracks on the east side of the Daniel B. Stepenuck Railroad Crossing. “I saw her get dragged, and she was pinned under the shield at the very front of the train.”

Area residents, some of whom witnessed the incident, moved quickly to help the injured woman.

Scott Flanagan of 8 Cedar St., who said the woman appeared to be “leaning over the tracks when the train hit her,” rushed to her aid.

Flanagan said he and the train’s unidentified conductor worked together to pull the woman out from under the train.

“She was kind of dazed, so I leaned her up against my knee and tried to comfort her as best I could,” Flanagan said. “I asked her her name and how old she was.”

The woman said her name was Angela and that she was 43 and lives on Arthur Street, Flanagan said.

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