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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 1, 2010

Teens survive train crash on graduation day

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — An early morning train accident on Friday left two teenagers with cuts and bruises, according to the State Police.

After an eastbound train crossed County Route 308, Richard DeMatteo drove onto the tracks as a westbound freight train was crossing on a parallel track, police say the train hit the rear passenger door of the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu.

The car “became airborne and crashed into the south crossing gate,” according to police.  DeMatteo, who graduated from Voorheesville’s high school on the same day as the accident, and his passenger, Cassandra M. Tambasco, of Schenectady, were treated and released from Albany Medical Center, according to police.  The vehicle was demolished.

“The CSX engineer relates that the gates were down for traffic,” according to a release from police, “ and the driver of the car cannot say what happened.”

A tape from the locomotive was to be downloaded and given to police; as of Wednesday, the investigation was ongoing and police expected that there would be charges.

In the fall of 2008, two CSX trains traveling in opposite directions on parallel tracks hit Peter Salerno’s Land Rover, which he was driving over the tracks on Youmans Road.

Neither he nor his two daughters were hurt in the accident.

As a result of that collision, Youmans, a small residential road, will become a dead end on each side of the track.  New Scotland’s engineering firm, Stantec, drafted plans for the new design and is currently awaiting approval from the Department of Transportation, town Supervisor Thomas Dolin said yesterday.

The project is anticipated to cost less than $600,000, he said, with $12,000 coming from the town, $132,000 coming from CSX, and the balance coming from federal funds.

“We’re shooting for the fall,” Dolin said of when it might be completed.  It’s a “50-50 shot, whether it can be completed before the snow falls,” he said.

Visibility was a problem on Youmans Road as the crossing was at the top of a steep incline.  No road changes are proposed for the Route 308 crossing where the road is level.

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