Woman implicates GPS, poor lighting after her car is hit by train at Cary rail crossing

Wake County News

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — Dr. Lalita Sidana said the vision of her car getting hit by a freight train earlier this month has left an impact on her.

“It was so scary to see that,” Sidana said. “We were crossing a railroad crossing, and the train came. These bad memories flooded my mind.”

Two weeks ago, she said she was making a house call to see a patient.

She was driving with a couple of friends in her car on North Harrison Avenue in Cary, approaching a railroad crossing.

“As I was going, the GPS said, ‘turn right,’ and I did turn right,” Sidana said.

Her car then got stuck on the tracks.

“There was not enough light for me to realize that I was actually turning onto the train track,” she said.

Moments later, a man ran to Sidana and her friends to help get them out of the car.

Then, within a few minutes, she watched her car get hit by a train and dragged down the tracks. No one was hurt.

“My initial blame was on me, but when I think about everything, I think it can happen to anyone,” she said.

Earlier this month, people living in Cary told CBS 17 they’ve heard of people turning onto railroad crossings, sometimes because of GPS systems.

Following the wreck, CBS 17 tested a GPS unit, putting in directions to a pub close to the tracks.

When approaching the crossing, it told us to turn left.

For Sidana, she believes more needs to be done to make the crossing safer.

“Maybe a little bit more lighting [and] a little bit more awareness,” she said. “This was a very scary thing.”

CBS 17 requested information from Cary town officials. From 2017 to 2019, town leaders said there have been no reports of trains versus cars.

Sidana said she received two citations related to the wreck, and is working on getting another car for work.

She plans on meeting with Cary town officials to discuss the wreck.

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