Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Metro-North: No Evidence Train Struck a Person

Metro-North officials said today a train crew reported striking something on the tracks of the Saugatuck River Bridge where Westport police said Annette White was hit by a train Thursday.  But they did not notify anyone because they did not find any evidence it was a person.

WestportNow.com Image
A surveillance video released by Westport police today showed the train stopping and personnel looking around and under the train. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow photo from Westport Police video

Westport police confirmed they had not been notified by Metro-North and only began investigating the possibility that a train struck White after a passenger on the train alerted them Monday morning to a 20-minute stop on the bridge at 6:53 p.m. on Thursday.

Police said White, a 46-year-old Maine native who had been living at an Owenoke Park address since July, was apparently struck by the westbound train as she walked in the dark on the side opposite a narrow pedestrian walkway.

Her body was found floating in the Saugatuck River on Friday and an autopsy showed signs of blunt impact injuries similar to those caused by being struck by a vehicle or falling from a great height.

On Monday, police said they found her cellphone and an earring under the bridge.

A video, which was released by police today, showed the train stopping just short of the New York-bound platform. The trains lights go bright as it comes to a halt.

“It showed train personnel off of the train looking around, under and next to the train,” said Capt. Vincent Penna, commander of the Detective Bureau.

Metro-North spokesman Salvatore Arena said the train was en route from New Haven to Stamford when it hit something on the bridge. He said the crew made an emergency stop, notified Metro-North’s rail traffic control, and spent 20 to 30 minutes searching the area.

He said there was a small amount of damage to the front of the lead car, but no evidence that they had struck a person. He said the crew continued its journey from New Haven to Stamford where the train was inspected by Metro-North workers, who again, found no evidence that a person had been struck.

Westport police said they are treating the death as an apparent accident.

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