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Train Strikes and Kills a Veteran N.J. Transit Welder


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Train Strikes and Kills a Veteran N.J. Transit Welder


NY Times

Published: February 11, 2008



The New York Times

Simplicio Nino, in a family

photograph, was killed near the

Ridgewood train station.[/float]A longtime New Jersey Transit track welder was killed when he was hit by a train on Sunday morning near the

Ridgewood station, a spokesman for the railroad said.


The welder, Simplicio Nino, 58, of Clifton, N.J., was struck about 8:15 a.m. by a train bound for Suffern, N.Y., carrying 20 passengers, the spokesman, Dan Stessel, said. The train had left Hoboken at 7:33 a.m. Service on the Main Line was suspended for four hours; the passengers were transferred to another train. Service was also delayed on the nearby Bergen County Line.


A witness, Eduardo Penate, was working at Ridgewood Auto Wash nearby when the accident occurred, and said the train appeared to attempt to slow down before Mr. Nino was hit.


The cause of the accident was under investigation. Investigators interviewed the train’s engineer at the scene, Mr. Stessel said.


Mr. Nino’s daughter said it was not unusual for her father, who had worked for the railroad for 36 years, to be called in on a Sunday.


“When they brought new track in, he would weld it together, the new one and the old one,” said the daughter, Jennifer Mercado, 30. “Whenever he was asked to work Sunday, he usually did.”


The executive director of New Jersey Transit, Richard R. Sarles, said in a statement, “We feel this tragedy profoundly, particularly given the years of service Mr. Nino had with New Jersey Transit.


“Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and co-workers. We will thoroughly review this incident internally until we fully understand the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate loss,” Mr. Sarles added.


An inquiry will be conducted by the railroad and the results will be turned over to the Federal Railroad Administration, Mr. Sarles said. The National Transportation Safety Board was notified of the accident, but will not investigate because the accident did not involve a derailment or a collision, a spokeswoman said.


Mr. Nino was born in Venezuela and moved to New Jersey as a teenager, Mrs. Mercado said. He and his wife, Hilda Nino, raised two daughters. He was an elder at the Seventh Day Adventist church on Kerrigan Avenue in Union City, his family said.


“He was a very dedicated, hard-working individual,” Mrs. Mercado said. “He put God first, his family second and his job third.”



The train was going from Hoboken, N.J.,

to Suffern, N.Y.

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