Taxi driver charged in fatal collision with train


SAUGERTIES -- Following the investigation of a fatal crash Feb. 16, Saugerties Police have filed charges against a Kingston man.

Phillip A. Prindle, 43, is charged with Failure to Stop at a Railroad Crossing Resulting in a Fatal Accident, a felony, and Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign, a violation.

Investigation found that on Feb. 16, Prindle was driving a 2008 Chevrolet van owned by Kingston Kabs, and picked up a fare ate the end of Doyle' Slane in Saugerties. Investigators say Prindle drove past a posted stop sign and a CSX warning sign, without stopping and looking both ways onto the railroad tracks.

Police said Prindle drove directly across the tracks, into the path of an oncoming CSX engine. The train struck the taxi, injuring Prindle and his front-seat passenger, Rodney Smith. Rear-seat passenger Berthat Whispell of Saugerties was ejected, and suffered fatal injuries.

Police said video obtained from the engine and from the recorder on the taxi established that Prindle did not stop. At the time of the crash, he submitted to a chemical test of his blood for drugs and alcohol. The tests established that neither drugs nor alcohol were factors.

Prindle is to appear in court May 31.

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