GPS guided driver onto train tracks

January 4, 2008 10:41:48 AM PST
A Global Positioning System can tell a driver a lot of things - but apparently not when a train is coming. A computer consultant driving a rental car drove onto train tracks Wednesday using the instructions his GPS unit gave him. A train was barreling toward him, but he escaped in time and no one was injured.

The driver had turned right, as the system advised, and the car somehow got stuck on the tracks at the crossing. He jumped out and tried to warn the engineer by waving. He got out of the way just before the train slammed into the car at 60 mph, Metro-North railroad spokesman Dan Brucker said Thursday.

The car was pushed more than 100 feet during the fiery crash.

Some 500 train passengers were stranded for more than two hours during the Wednesday evening rush hour. The accident also heavily damaged 250 feet of rail, Brucker said.

The railroad said that the driver was issued a minor summons for obstructing a railroad crossing and that he and his rental company would be liable for the damage, estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.