Whitman: Police Investigate After School Van Nearly Struck By Train

Whitman Police are investigating after a school minivan was nearly struck by a commuter rail train. 

Chief Scott Benton says that at about 5:15 p.m. Monday police received a report of the incident which took place at a railroad crossing on Essex St.

Police obtained a copy of a video which shows the van between the railroad crossing gates, parallel with the train tracks, and what appears to be the last few cars the  train passing by, coming within feet of the van.

An initial investigation has determined that the van driver stopped just before the tracks and that one of the gates came down on top of the van. The driver was able to maneuver the van off the tracks but couldn’t get around the gates before the train came.

State law requires school buses to stop completely at all railroad crossings between 15-50 feet away from the train tracks.

One Whitman student was being transported inside the minivan at the time, but there were no injuries.

The driver has been identified by Whitman Police and is cooperating.

The van is owned by North River Collaborative, a Rockland-based educational organization that specializes in assisting children with special needs.

Anyone with information on this incident is being asked to contact Whitman Police at 781-447-1212. 

About Dan McCready

Dan McCready is a South Shore native who’s happy to be back working in his home region. After graduating from Catholic Memorial High School, GO KNIGHTS! Dan attended Suffolk University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Communications. After college Dan worked as a standup comic and actor appearing in several theatrical productions, independent films, and worked as a background extra in films and TV shows including Fever Pitch, Underdog, and Brotherhood while also working as a weekend overnight DJ on Easy 99.1. Eventually Dan began covering the Boston entertainment scene for Production Live Online and, after being bit by the journalism bug, decided to further his studies at Northeastern University, where he earned his master's degree. Since that time Dan has worked across many media platforms for organizations including the Patriot Ledger, Cape Cod Broadcasting, and 1420 WBSM in New Bedford. Dan is currently residing in Milton and enjoys hanging out with friends, candlepin bowling, playing video games, and making videos for his fledgling YouTube Channel.