September 20, 2014

Medina
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Woman hurt in Tahoe-train accident identified

A woman was injured when her sport utility vehicle collided with a train this afternoon in York Township.

A woman was injured when her sport utility vehicle collided with a train this afternoon in York Township.

YORK TWP. — A township woman was injured when her Chevy Tahoe collided with a train Wednesday afternoon at Smith Road.

The driver of the Tahoe, Libby Forstner, 48, was listed in serious condition at Akron General Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday night.

No one has been charged in the accident, but the train’s engineer was cited for obstructing official business after allegedly not complying with the subsequent investigation, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Forstner was westbound on Smith Road and drove through the railroad crossing as the train approached at approximately 35 mph, OHP Trooper Christopher Ausse said. He said warning lights near the intersection were functioning and the train’s conductor was blowing the engine’s whistle.

“For whatever reason, she didn’t yield to the train,” Ausse said.

He said once the engineer and conductor saw Forstner’s vehicle, they tried to slow down, “but it’s like trying to stop on ice for the train.”

Forstner was taken by Erhart Fire and Rescue to Medina Hospital and later transferred to Akron General Hospital.

After Forstner was transported to the hospital, troopers investigating the crash attempted to talk to the train’s engineer, Ausse said.

“For some reason, he didn’t want to give the basic information for the investigation,” Ausse said. He explained any statements are voluntary, but those involved in accidents are expected to give identifying information.

Robert Shaw, 51, of Seville, allegedly walked away from Ausse and toward the train’s engine that was dozens of yards away. Shaw was charged with obstructing official business, the trooper said.

“He was taking me away from my duties at the crash scene,” Ausse said.

Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.