VALHALLA – The Metro-North train tracks near the Valhalla station were cleared and trains were running normally Tuesday after a car caught fire on the tracks Monday evening.
According to a Valhalla Police report, a man with a physical disability driving a modified car stepped on the wrong pedal, which sent the vehicle onto tracks where it caught fire at about 6 p.m. Monday. The driver escaped from the car and was uninjured.
Valhalla Assistant Fire Chief Roger King said the driver was fortunate that trains were not passing the station at the point when the car hit the tracks.
Police reported that the driver, who wears a therapeutic boot to drive the adapted pedals, had the accelerator and brake pedals reversed and may have caused some confusion in working the changed equipment. The car drove through a metal fence and into a spot between the northbound and southbound tracks at Cleveland Street.
Firefighters on the scene made sure all trains were stopped and that the electric third rail was shit down before they could begin dealing with the fire.
Officials said the driver, who was an older man, was taken from the scene but was not arrested.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority website reported that the fire caused about a 15 minute delay during the evening commute and damaged the third rail on one of the tracks.
The MTA reported that trains on the Harlem Line were moving on time through Valhalla Tuesday morning.