Foxx: NY Metro-North crash ‘horrifying’

Foxx: NY Metro-North crash ‘horrifying’
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Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Lyft sues New York over new driver minimum pay law Lyft confidentially files for IPO MORE said he was alarmed by a fatal crash on the New York Metro-North commuter railway that killed seven people this week.

“It is horrifying,” he said during an appearance on PBS’s “Charlie Rose” show. 

“It points out the fact that in everything we do in transportation, we always first have to concern ourselves with safety,” Foxx continued. “And that is a big part of what the Federal Rail Administration does and a big part of what USDOT does.”

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The accident occurred Tuesday night, when a train on Metro-North’s Harlem Line collided with a sport utility vehicle that was stranded on the tracks in Valhalla, N.Y., which is north of New York City. 

Five people aboard the train, including its operator, and the driver of the SUV were killed. 

The DOT chief said his agency was deferring to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as the agency searches for answers about the cause of the deadly crash. 

“We are still gathering facts,” Foxx said. “Obviously, when NTSB jumps into a situation, everyone stands down and supports their investigation as facts come to light. We will of course, be looking for whether there are things that need to happen at Metro-North to assure that this doesn't happen again. Terrible tragedy, and our hearts go out to the family.” 

Metro-North had four high-profile accidents in 2013, including a collision of two trains in Connecticut, a freight rail accident in the same area of the track two months later, another crash that killed four people and an unrelated employee fatality.  

Foxx has said the Obama administration would conduct a “thorough investigation” of its own when the NTSB concludes its review. 

“Safety is this department's absolute top priority, and it must be every railroad's absolute top priority,” he wrote in a blog post after the accident. “If we establish that safety lapses contributed to this tragedy, we will order necessary corrective actions. In the meantime, we will continue our laser focus on safety. And our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.”