Driver loses race with train in Cheswick
By Brian C. Rittmeyer
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012,
A Plum man who police said might have been trying to beat a train to the Blockdale Street crossing Tuesday morning came up on the losing end of that battle.
The car was destroyed, but the man driving it, Robert Cutone, 46, wasn't seriously injured, borough police Chief Robert Scott said. Cutone was treated and released from UPMC St. Margaret hospital near Aspinwall, the chief said.
The collision happened shortly before 8:30 a.m.
Officer Cindy Busch said Cutone was traveling out Blockdale to Pittsburgh Street. The two-mile long Norfolk Southern freight train was traveling south at about 25 mph.
There are no gates controlling the crossing. Drivers are supposed to stop before crossing the tracks.
The train hit the passenger side of the car and pushed it between 50 and 100 feet, Busch said.
Although the train's crew blew a whistle, Busch said the driver claimed he didn't hear the train.
"I think he tried to beat the train," Busch told a reporter.
No charges have been filed as the accident remains under investigation. Busch said police will get a look at video footage taken from a camera in the train's engine.
Scott couldn't confirm that Cutone tried to beat the train.
The chief said his understanding of the circumstances was that Cutone simply wasn't paying attention and didn't notice the train approaching.
Cutone couldn't be reached for comment.
The white, late model Mercury Sable appeared to be a company car. It bore an identification sticker on the rear bumper that included a phone number and asked, "How's my driving?"
Three crew members were in the train's engine.
While there was nothing left of the right side of the car's passenger compartment, Cutone had only a cut on a finger, Busch said. He was out of his vehicle and talking on his cell phone when police arrived.
As a precaution, Cutone was driven to the hospital by ambulance to be examined, Busch said.
At first, he didn't want to go, she said.
"He just got hit by a train," Busch said. "I convinced him to go to the hospital."
Staff writer Michael Aubele contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Film about former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis in prestigious festival
- Kovacevic: Got proof on Tomlin? Let’s hear it
- Groundbreaking for Connellsville hotel shifts to January
- Ex-Steeler WR Wallace: It was a ‘challenge’ for Haley to use me
- Schmotzer resigns high-paid administrative job with Baldwin-Whitehall
- Two new members welcomed to Connellsville Area School Board
- Firms transmit market data at near light speed
- Ex-Penguins winger Kennedy ‘emotional’ about return
- Allegheny Township man accused of gashing girlfriend’s face with scissors
- ‘O Starry Night:’ Petersen ready for big pop event
- Steelers coach Tomlin fined $100K by NFL