The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

August 27, 2012

No railroad safety gate planned for site of fatal crash in Milton

MILTON — The borough doesn’t plan to add a crossing gate to the intersection where a 17-year-old girl was killed by a train in May, though that stance may change pending results from the state police crime lab.

The investigation into the crash that killed 17-year-old Maxine Eschbach continues, according to Cpl. Dan Embeck of Milton police.

Authorities are still waiting for evidence to be processed at the Pennsylvania State Police crime lab and a reconstruction of the collision, Embeck said. The evidence could take several months to return.

Once the evidence is processed, police will meet with the district attorney to see whether charges should be filed, Embeck said.

“This case is high priority for us, but there’s a lot of other cases (also going on) across the state,” he said.

Eschbach, of 123 Center St. and a student at Milton Area High School, was killed in the crash while the vehicle’s driver, Kim Bergenstock, 16, survived and was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

At the time of the accident, police said the car was traveling west on Center Street at about 4:30 p.m., when it was hit by the train and dragged 850 feet before coming to a stop. Eschbach was wearing a seat belt, according to police.

It is not clear how fast the car was moving when it collided with the train, although police said the train was traveling under Milton’s 50 mph speed limit.

At the intersection where the crash occurred, there are crossing lights, but no gates at the crossing.

The borough is not planning to add gates to the intersection, though that may change once a final report is issued by police, said borough manager Chuck Beck.

“Right now, we’re not discussing anything with it,” he said.

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