Shortly after 10:00pm Friday evening, Nanuet FD Ex-Chief Vinny Pacella and his son, Lieutenant Joe Pacella were traveling on Convent Rd when they approached the NJ Transit train crossing and came upon a vehicle off the road and down the embankment adjacent to the tracks.
Nanuet FD was dispatched to assist in the removal of two elderly occupants from the vehicle, which had come to rest still dangerously close to the active commuter railway.
The Clarkstown Police Department, also responding to the scene, made contact with NJ Transit's Pascack Valley line control center and confirmed that all train traffic was to be stopped on the busy line, which runs regular commuter service from Spring Valley to Hoboken, NJ.
Crews assisted the two elderly occupants from the vehicle, who were evaluated by EMS and uninjured.
Upon further investigation, it was determined that the driver mistakenly thought the railway was nearby Old Middletown Rd., and attempted to turn onto the tracks before sliding down the embankment.
A local towing outfit removed the vehicle from the ditch, and train service was allowed to resume shortly before 11:00pm.