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Valhalla Railroad Crossing Gate Has New Mishap, 2 Years After Deadly Crash

MTA railroad crews replaced a crossing gate Friday damaged at the deadly Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla. It's been nearly two years since five Metro-North passengers and a motorist from Edgemont were killed here.
MTA railroad crews replaced a crossing gate Friday damaged at the deadly Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla. It's been nearly two years since five Metro-North passengers and a motorist from Edgemont were killed here. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Mount Pleasant police stopped traffic Friday as MTA railroad crews fixed a crossing gate at the deadly Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla. It's been nearly two years since five Metro-North passengers and a motorist from Edgemont were killed there.
Mount Pleasant police stopped traffic Friday as MTA railroad crews fixed a crossing gate at the deadly Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla. It's been nearly two years since five Metro-North passengers and a motorist from Edgemont were killed there. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
MTA railroad crews replaced a crossing gate Friday damaged at the deadly Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla. It's been nearly two years since five Metro-North passengers and a motorist from Edgemont were killed there.
MTA railroad crews replaced a crossing gate Friday damaged at the deadly Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla. It's been nearly two years since five Metro-North passengers and a motorist from Edgemont were killed there. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

This story has been updated.

VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Nearly two years after the deadliest railroad crossing accident in Metro-North history, the gates to a crossing at Commerce Street were being repaired on Friday.

A Daily Voice reporter happened to be driving past the crossing about 11 a.m. on Friday as MTA railroad crews and Mount Pleasant police blocked the road along the Taconic State Parkway.

Mount Pleasant Lt. Robert Miliambro said a motorist may have broken the crossing gate and it was being replaced by a crew from the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Miliambro said Commerce Street was closed temporarily Friday morning while the MTA worked on the crossing gate. Commuter trains were seen stopping or slowing down as they passed through the crossing.

Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for Metro-North and the MTA said, "There was no impact to train service. Completion of the crossing gate replacement was approximately one hour after it was identified as missing."

Donovan said, "The missing arm was likely the result of a motorist striking the gate, which is usually the case. The MTA Police are investigating the cause. It’s also possibly a high wind gust (unlikely), or vandalism (also unlikely)."

Donovan said that all of the Valhalla crossing's equipment – the gate itself, lights, interconnection with the signal system, etc., "were working properly and never experienced any sort of failure. There was no failure on the part of our mechanical infrastructure."

The February 2015 Metro-North train crash in Valhalla, which killed motorist Ellen Brody, 49, of Edgemont and five male commuters from New York and Connecticut, remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board as reported here.

Prior Daily Voice coverage of the deadly railroad crossing can be found by clicking here as well as here:

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