UPDATE: Driver charged after Downeaster passenger train collides with SUV at Yarmouth crossing

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YARMOUTH — The driver of an SUV struck Monday afternoon by an Amtrak Downeaster passenger train is being charged with failure to stop at a railroad crossing.

Katharine Estabrook, 34, of North Yarmouth, was the only person in the vehicle Monday at 12:32 p.m. when it was hit by the train at a North Road crossing.

According to Police Department Lt. Dean Perry, Estabrook received a summons on a charge of failure to stop properly at a railroad crossing device.

Estabrook was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland with possible head and back injuries, according to police. She was later released.

Perry on Tuesday said police reviewed video from a traffic camera positioned at the railroad crossing, but no information could be released because the case is ongoing. On Monday he said witnesses said it appeared that the driver of the southbound SUV was trying to beat the train.

“The word we have from witnesses is that she tried to navigate around the crossing arm,” Perry said.

Perry said the vehicle was hit on the back end and thrown into the crossing arm in the northbound lane. The post and signs were ripped from the ground, leaving pieces of metal and plastic, as well as exposed wires, on and around the tracks.

There were 23 passengers aboard northbound Downeaster train 681. The train had to wait on the tracks for about an hour and a half after the accident while police talked to the crew and passengers.

Perry said a conductor was not willing to talk to police because of an Amtrak policy.

Estabrook is married to the nephew of Joleen Estabrook, a Yarmouth woman who has been campaigning to have the town seek creation of so-called quiet zones at railroad crossings.

The zones, which require more costly and elaborate safety devices at crossings, would allow train crews to refrain from sounding horns as they travel through town, as a way to reduce noise for residents who live near the rail corridor.

The Town Council has rejected quiet zones, citing the added cost and safety concerns.

Note: This story has been updated with the driver’s correct name as the police department initially provided incorrect information.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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An Amtrak Downeaster train hit an SUV Monday afternoon on North Road in Yarmouth, throwing it into a crossing arm and ripping the post from the ground. The driver of the vehicle was hospitalized with possible head and back injuries.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.