AUSTIN (KXAN) - The father of two who was killed in May when a MetroRail train slammed into his car apparently was trying back the vehicle off the tracks when the collision occurred, the newly released police report says.
Jeremy Barta, 32, w as killed and his car was dragged for several feet along the tracks near a private crossing west of Mopac Boulevard and north of Parmer Lane. His two children survived the wreckage.
Engineer Kazi Adnan Jahangir saw the car stopped on the tracks on the morning of May 1, but he thought it would eventually move out of the way, according to the police report. When the car did not move, he sounded his bell and horn and began emergency braking procedures.
In the report, Jahangir described the scene as like a blur. He said he was going 40 mph on the route before he started braking.
Barta's eldest child said that at the last minute he and his dad saw the train and hit the brakes, the report says. The evidence shows that the car was in reverse, suggesting that Barta was trying to back up off of the tracks.
It appeared that Barta was unable to back up because of the grade difference between the tracks and the gravel alongside, the report says.
According to the report, neighbors in the area have had issues with who is responsible for maintaining the tracks and they have had low vehicles ruined by crossing the tracks. One resident had the transmission ripped out. Capital Metro paperwork from 1946 shows that the property owner at the time had made an agreement to maintain the crossing .
The current property owner, however, had no knowledge of that agreement the report say.
It was the first fatal wreck involving a Metrorail train. CapMetro said128 riders were on board when the crash happened, but no passengers were hurt. One woman aboard the train was taken to the hospital, but EMS crews said her medical needs were not in relation to the crash.
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