Train Clips Car on Caltrain Tracks in San Bruno

After disappearing from the scene of the accident, the driver was found and transported to a hospital with minor injuries.

A train clipped a car on the Caltrain tracks in San Bruno this evening, causing major delays for passengers throughout the area, Caltrain said.

According to the @caltrain Twitter account, a train traveling northbound struck a BMW that was on the tracks at San Mateo Avenue at about 6 p.m.

Upon investigation, however, the car couldn't immediately be found, @caltrain said.

Minutes later, @caltrain said that the car and the woman driving the vehicle were found at a nearby supermarket. The driver was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, Caltrain said.

Train service has been delayed up to 30 minutes until about 8 p.m. while the accident is under investigation, a Caltrain spokeswoman said.

"Although the cause of the accident is still under investigation, Caltrain reminds pedestrians and drivers to be cautious when crossing train tracks. Never go around lowered crossing gates," Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said. "The gate means wait."

Mike September 27, 2012 at 04:40 PM
This person is either one very fortunate person who has little to no regard for railroad crossing safety, or is someone who has a "death wish". Considering this specific incident and the several other people vs train incidents that have occured in the county I question the wisdom of operating trains as we presently do from Santa Clara County to San Francisco County. I am also concerned how that will change with the introduction of high speed rail. Would it not be a better and a less expensive idea to extend BART to San Jose and get rid of CAL Train service? The benefits of rail commuter services would be beneficial to the entire Bay Area, and with a high speed rail/BART station in San Jose it would serve the high speed rail travelers as well. Why spend billions of dollars to provide a high speed rail terminal/service to San Francisco when we can save billions by extending Bart from Millbrae to San Jose and still provide what will very likely be the same level of service?
Mark Taylor September 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM
What likely happened is the car was slightly under the gate and just far enough in for the train to clip. The engineer may have noticed it on approach but too late to stop. The front of the car probably has some serious damage, even for just a clip, and the jolt would have knocked them around in the car (and possibly deploying the airbag). And then they apparently took off! Because of what they did they stopped the evening commute until it could be resolved. So for being stupid the car owner faces a huge bill to repair the car, medical costs (minor if the reports are to believed). And oh yes, a major fine! Trespassing on active train tracks can be up to $6,000. And I bet Caltrain will seek the maximum for this dolt. As for communication, not a surprise. Caltrain often fails to say much unless you really push it. Conductors rarely say what the problem is unless they really know by being on that train. Sometimes they simply say there is a problem up ahead on the line and apologize for it. Commuters with internet phones often find out quicker thanks to Twitter and other internet sites. The conductors have to rely on the mobile communications devices (radios) they have with them.
Dawn Hoover September 27, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I was waiting at a light at the Broadway crossing in Burlingame and the car in front of me had his rear wheels on the track. Fortunately no train came while he was stopped there.
Sherrie Antis September 28, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Sherrie Antis I live just down the street from where the lady parked the car. I don't understand how she was able to drive and make turns and park the car. She was very lucky.
Mark Taylor September 28, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I would like to see a photo of the car. That would tell how much damage was caused by the glancing blow. I assume it was significant if the police had no trouble identifying the car later (presumably the train driver and a conductor described the car to the police). And a report of the injuries (the police thought it serious enough for an ambulance call). Found at supermarket. I wonder if that was Mollie Stones at Bayhill (San Bruno & Cherry). That would make it at least 2+ miles from the scene.


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