Boston Commuter Train Crashes With Elderly Woman’s Car in Train Crossing

A recent Holbrook, Massachusetts, car-train accident is under investigation involving a Boston-bound commuter train and an elderly woman who has died from her injuries. According to authorities, Ann Kireilis, 91, from Brockton, was crossing the train tracks near the Holbrook-Avon border at the East High Street crossing when the train collided with the car at about 11:45 a.m. In a statement released by MBTA, spokesman Joe Pesaturo said that the warning gates were down and investigators found that the crossing’s warning system was activated 39 seconds prior to the arrival of the northbound train at the crossing. He said the engineer applied the emergency brake when he saw the car, but was unable to fully stop before hitting the car. Holbrook Fire Chief Edward O’Brien reported that Kireilis appeared to be driving over the rail crossing west toward Avon at the time. He said, “I don’t know if she misjudged the (crossing) gate, it’s tough to tell.”

No one on the train was injured and the commuter train continued its trip to Boston around 1 p.m. with approximately 130 passengers aboard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 15% of all traffic fatalities in 2008 were seniors, aged 65 or older. Approximately 80% of all traffic fatalities involving older drivers happened during the daytime, 72% occurred on weekdays, and 69% were involving other vehicles. Because the NHTSA predicts that there will be approximately 40 million drivers who are 65 or older by 2020, the organization provides detailed resources for elderly drivers and has created an Older Driver Program Five-Year Strategic Plan 2012-2017. The goals of this program are to build communications for older drivers and caretakers, create and maintain partnerships to help older driver safety, and to expand driver-licensing procedures.

Additional resources to promote safer senior driving include information on:

• How to talk with older drivers about their driving capabilities • Medications and older drivers • Screening and evaluations • Toolkit for driving safely • Driving when you suffer from a condition that could inhibit safe driving, such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or a previous stroke

If you have been injured in an accident, contact one of our Massachusetts vehicle accident lawyers for a free consultation.


Brockton woman, 91, dies following car-train crash in Holbrook, The Patriot Ledger, March 18, 2011
Driver Safety, Senior Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Massachusetts car accident lawyers at Altman & Altman can advise you if you have been injured on the road.

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