Woman Struck, Killed By NJ Transit Train in Hazlet Identified
The incident occurred along the wooded section of track between Beers Street and Holmdel Road.
Heather Gogan, 37, of Keansburg was trespassing on the train tracks in Hazlet when she was struck and killed by a NJ Transit train Wednesday night as it approached the Hazlet Train Station, according to NJ Transit Spokesman John Durso, Jr.
The 8:41 North Jersey Coast Line train out of New York was coming to a stop at Hazlet when it hit the woman around 9:50 p.m.
The incident occurred in a desolate area, behind the Hazlet Deli and Greek Store's parking lot.
The engineer of Train No. 3285, traveling west on Track 1, told investigators he saw Gogan walk into the gauge of Track 1, face the train and then put her hands up to cover her eyes, according to Durso.
The engineer sounded the horn and placed the train brakes into "emergency" but could not stop before striking Gogan.
"The engineer stated that when the trespasser faced the train she made no attempt to clear the track," Durso said.
Last night, the train sat motionless on the tracks blocking Holmdel Road past midnight, where it had been abruptly stopped. Dozens of personnel wearing badges and ID cards around the neck milled around the site in the warm night. Down the tracks, officials from NJ Transit worked under bright lights to investigate the incident, remove the woman's body, and verify the train's condition. Hazlet Police closed off the parking lot and streets and patrolled the platform.
About 200 passengers were on board the train during the accident, according to Durso.
They were offloaded and moved to the northbound platform to await another train that finally arrived around 11:15 p.m.
As three men waited on the platform, they traded stories of what they experienced from inside the train.
Dave Simon of Deal told how he had been sitting in the third car from the front of the train when the incident occurred. "I heard a thump. Like something grazed against the side of the train," he said.
Lenny Lapadula of Wall said he recalled the urgent wail of the train's horn -- and the sudden stop. "I heard the horn, just blaring," he said.
John Mazza of West Long Branch said the conductor then announced some sort of code over the loud speaker.
The accident remains under investigation by New Jersey Transit Police.
Editor's note: This story was updated at 8:15 a.m. Thursday with the name of the person killed and a description of the event from the engineer, as reported by NJ Transit.