FL UPDATE - Questions surround St. Augustine Car-train crash

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"...Railroad officials are still unsure what caused a Florida East Coast Railway freight train to broadside a car early Wednesday afternoon, but it could have been the result of a track inspector's error.

According to Jane Covington, a spokeswoman for the FEC headquarters in St. Augustine, a track inspector essentially deactivated the crossing signal at 11 a.m. Wednesday to perform a test.

When the inspector finished at about noon, it is unclear whether he reactivated the northbound and southbound sensors, which activate the crossing signals, Covington said.

Covington said a northbound train passed through the crossing sometime between noon and 1:10 p.m., when the collision occurred, and the crossing signals worked.

But when the train that crashed into Bruehert's car -- a southbound train -- passed through the crossing, the signals didn't work.

"It was only the sensor for southbound trains that was not working properly,'' said Covington.

That begs the question: Did the track inspector perform a test on the northbound sensor, but not the southbound sensor? ..."

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-- Doris (reaper1@mindspring.com), July 15, 2000

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