After surviving a collision with two locomotives last week, a New Scotland man is being charged with a misdemeanor for failing to stop at the railroad crossing, according to the Albany County Sheriff's Department.
At the same time, the state Department of Transportation is planning to construct a new road to circumvent the Youmans Road railroad crossing as a result of the collisions, according to DOT officials.
The collision occurred at about 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, when a Range Rover driven by Peter A. Salerno, 38, with his two children, ages 8 and 10, as passengers, was initially struck on the front of the passenger side by a westbound train. The vehicle spun around and was then struck again by an eastbound train in the rear of the passenger side. The car was eventually pushed clear of the eastbound side and rested on the shoulder clear from danger.
All three of the vehicle's occupants were transported to the Albany Medical Center Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the Albany County Sheriff's Department, there is a sign stating that it is a railroad crossing, but no flashers or gates at the location.
Chief Deputy Craig D. Apple said the state Department of Transportation is responsible for the final say on where gates or flashers are placed.
The railroad company, in this case the CSX Corporation, is only responsible for the upkeep of gates and flashers once they are in place, Apple said.
Everybody is pointing fingers and nobody is willing to take responsibility, he said early Tuesday, Nov. 25.
Apple said the sheriff's office is still investigating the case.
"We are still reviewing the information from the rail company. The engines are very similar to planes in that they have a little black box," he said.
According to information provided by the sheriff's department, the train was traveling at 43 mph, and the engineer sounded a horn and bell 20 seconds prior to impact.