No one was injured last night when a westbound Amtrak train collided with a disabled vehicle on the tracks near the West Windsor Train Station.
The car parked on the tracks was destroyed, however, and three other cars, including two police car, were damaged in the collision.
West Windsor police said that officers had been detailed to the westbound train tracks under the Route 64 bridge at 11:57 p.m. Tuesday to respond to reports of a disabled vehicle on the Amtrak train track. Officers Alison Pollini and Christian Crawford arrived to find a 2012 Toyota Camry facing east on the track.
Police say the car had been driven there by Amna S. Ahmed, who was on scene and met with Officer Pollini. Ahmed’s father and sister had also arrived on the scene in a white BMW to provide assistance, and were parked on an access road next to the tracks.
West Windsor Police dispatch began the effort of stopping all train traffic because of the situation. As Officer Brandon Heath arrived and parked directly behind the BMW, Amtrak Train No. 639 began approaching at a high rate of speed on the westbound track.
Officer Pollini alerted everyone to the impending collision. Officers Pollini, Crawford and Ahmed took cover behind a building along the tracks. Ahmed’s father and sister remained in their BMW. Officer Heath ran for cover behind a concrete bridge abutment.
The train struck the Toyota Camry, sending heavy debris flying toward the area where officers had just been standing. The Toyota was destroyed and careened into Officer Pollini’s unoccupied patrol car, which sustained extensive damage. Officer Heath’s Car and the BMW sustained moderate damage from flying debris.
A video posted to the West Windsor Police facebook page shows the train approaching and hitting the Camry, which was only partially crossing the track. The impact sends the vehicle flying at an angle into Pollini’s car. Viewer discretion advised.
The train sustained heavy damage to its engine car as well as numerous other trailing train cars. Although the debris field was extensive and sent with such incredible force, no one was struck, and there were no reported injuries. The debris cone extended past Washington Road.
The train traffic disruption lasted approximately 3 hours. As of 7 a.m., all tracks are reportedly fully operational.
Route 64 is the designation for the span that connects Washington Road with Princeton-Hightstown Road in Princeton Junction adjacent to the Ellsworth’s Shopping Center.
Police say Ahmed was found to be DWI at the scene and was transported to West Windsor Police Headquarters for processing. Ahmed was issued summonses for reckless driving and DWI and released pending a future appearance at the West Windsor Municipal Court.