POLICE BEAT

Lincoln woman nearly hit by train after crashing through gate

Posted May 10, 2011, at 10:44 p.m.
Last modified May 11, 2011, at 7:20 a.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — A Lincoln woman who drove her pickup through the gate of the railroad crossing with a train bearing down late Tuesday afternoon managed to escape unharmed.

Thoroughly frightened, 67-year-old Sharon Stanhope drove straight home and called a family member, who called the police, Lincoln police Officer Glenn Graef said Tuesday night.

The operator of the Pan Am Railways train was close enough to Stanhope’s truck to be able to provide a description to police, a Penobscot County Regional Communication Center dispatcher confirmed.

Graef said the incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. when Stanhope reached the gate and thought she had enough time to get across the railroad tracks. Instead, the gate’s arm swung down and struck the windshield of her truck.

“She didn’t see the red signal light,” Graef said.

It was not clear Tuesday night if any charges will be filed in connection with the incident. Lt. Tim Falvey of the Boston and Maine Railroad Police, who is the lead investigator in the matter, could not be reached Tuesday night.

Attempts to obtain information from Pan Am Railways early Tuesday evening also were unsuccessful.

Graef said Stanhope’s pickup and the gate each had an estimated $1,500 in damage.

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