MT. HOLLY—On Aug. 14 at 4:45 p.m., the Vermont State Police responded to a report of a car vs. train equipment crash at the railroad crossing on Healdville Road. A 2006 Subaru Forester driven by Lisa Bixby, 49, of Belmont, Vt., sustained damage when it collided with railroad equipment operated by Matthew Godzik, 28, a resident of Fair Haven and a Vermont Rail Systems employee.
No injuries were reported, although Bixby was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and the equipment itself has no seatbelts. Road conditions and weather were reported as clear, and driver impairment was not observed to be an issue.
Investigation at the scene found that Bixby was traveling west on Healdville Road and approaching a railroad grade crossing. Godzik was southbound on the GMRC Line moving a track service “tamper” machine across the grade crossing. Bixby collided with the side of the equipment as it travelled through the crossing.
The Subaru sustained body and bumper damage from the initial impact and further damage as the tamper machine spun the Subaru around, pushing it off the roadway, where it came to rest above a culvert.
Healdville Road remained open during the incident.
While the grade crossing warning signals were observed to be functional, they were not (and could not have been) activated by the specific track equipment involved in this incident. Both Godzik and Bixby had obstructed views of the crossing prior to the impact, and the crash remains under investigation by the Vermont State Police. Officials from the Vermont Rail System and Carrara’s Towing assisted at the scene.