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Driver Killed By Commuter Rail Train In Wilmington Identified, MBTA Says 'Human Error' Focus Of Investigation

WILMINGTON (CBS) – The woman killed Friday night when her car was hit by a Commuter Rail train in Wilmington has been identified as 68-year-old Roberta Sausville Devine.

Sausville Devine, a Wilmington resident, was driving eastbound along Middlesex Avenue and was crossing the railroad when she was hit. No one else was in the car.

Transit Police said the impact pushed her car 40-50 yards. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roberta Sausville Devine
Roberta Sausville Devine. (Family photo)

There were 54 people on the train, which was inbound to Boston. No injuries were reported.

In a statement on Saturday, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said "human error" is the primary focus of the investigation into the crash.

Poftak added that the preliminary investigation has found that safety features did not activate in the area before the train traveled through.

"Less than an hour before the accident, a signal maintainer for Keolis was performing regularly scheduled testing and preventative maintenance of the railroad crossing's safety system. Following the testing, our preliminary finding is that the safety system was not returned to its normal operating mode," said Poftak. "This failure resulted in the crossing gates not coming down in a timely manner as the train approached Middlesex Avenue. Investigators have not found any defects nor any other problems with the various elements that comprise the infrastructure of the railroad crossing system."

Poftak said that a final report will be released soon that details everything that happened.

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