CSX fined $227,000 for fatal accident in Fonda
- CSX fined $227,000 for fatal accident in Fonda
February 13, 2006, 2:21 PM EST
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ CSX Transportation, the largest rail operator in
the eastern United States, was fined $227,000 by federal regulators
Monday for a warning-system failure that led to the death of a
38-year-old woman in Fonda last year.
The Federal Railroad Administration lodged the fine after an
investigation into the death of Victoria Doyle of Johnstown in
February 2005. Witnesses at the time said the warning gate at a rail
crossing lifted shortly before a westbound train arrived. The train
hit the driver's side door of the vehicle and sheared off the top of
Investigators found that an eastbound CSX train that stopped short of
the crossing in Fonda, but close enough to activate the warning lights
and gates. The train's conductor used a manual control box to lift the
gates and allow highway traffic to cross the tracks. However, the
device subsequently prevented a westbound CSX train from activating
the warning system to alert motorists.
CSX will have an opportunity to present any defenses and mitigating
factors that may lead to a lower settlement agreement, U.S. Department
of Transportation spokesman Warren Flatau said.
"We are reviewing the fines but our focus remains on continuing to
improve rail safety across our network," said Robert Sullivan, a
spokesman for Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX.
Fonda is 35 miles northwest of Albany.