Woman arraigned in court after van, train collision

Published 2:14 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2012



An Ashland, Ky., woman was arraigned in the Ironton Municipal Court Monday after the van she was driving was hit by a train over the weekend.

Sacha N. Dees, 34, of 2604 Monroe St. was arrested Sunday and charged with inducing panic and interference with the operation of a train.

Judge O. Clark Collins read the charges and attempted several times to get Dees to respond or acknowledge him. She stood in the jurors box staring at the ground during the process and didn’t speak.

A police officer told Collins that Dees had not spoken since she was arrested.

Collins set her preliminary hearing for 9 a.m. Thursday. He assigned defense attorney Warren Morford to represent Dees. Collins set a $50,000 bond.

Dees will be evaluated by Shawnee Mental Health Center.

On Sunday, Dees drove her van to the railroad crossing at the Coal Grove boat ramp, according to Coal Grove Police Chief Eric Spurlock. She parked the vehicle on the tracks, exited with two dogs and went up the tracks toward the Ashland Bridge. Dees then sat down in the middle of the railroad tracks, holding the dogs.

Coal Grove Police, assisted by Ironton Police, took the woman into custody. According to Spurlock, at that time she did not cooperate with the police and resisted arrest.

The van was locked with the motor running and the eastbound train hit the vehicle, coming within a few hundred feet of hitting the woman before it stopped. Dees initially faced several other charges but were not formally filed in court.

(Editor’s note: Based on information provided by law enforcement, it was initially reported that the train came within a few feet of hitting Dees. However, statements by CSX employees indicate the train was approximately 300 feet away before it stopped. We regret the error and are happy to correct it.)