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Authorities Say Train Engineer Had History of Violations

April 10, 1988

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) _ The 42-year-old engineer killed when two Metro-North Commuter Railroad trains crashed had a history of railroad driving violations, according to a state official investigating the accident.

Raymond C. Hunter, 42, of Stamford, Conn., was killed Wednesday when a train he was driving rammed into a stopped train in Mount Vernon.

The crash, which also injured two Metro-North employees, occurred when Hunter was driving his empty eight-car train around a curve and plowed into the back of an empty five-car train stopped because it was having electrical problems.

Hunter had ″a history of violations and disciplinary actions,″ Edward Plasburg, chief of Commuter Rail Safety for the state’s Public Transportation Safety Board, said Friday.

But he and other officials did not say what type of violations Hunter had been cited for.

Frank Ghorsi, head of the National Transportation Safety Board’s New York office, said investigators want to know if Hunter’s driving record was unusual.

Gannett Westchester Newspapers reported Saturday that Metro-North officials were not willing to release details of Hunter’s driving record.

The newspaper said that when two Metro-North trains collided in February 1987, injuring about 35 passengers, records of the crew members were released the following day.

Patricia Paley, a Metro-North spokeswoman, said the record is being guarded more closely this time because the investigation is more complicated and to protect the dead engineer’s privacy.

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