Death of woman hit by train determined to be accidental

Maine’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has determined that the death of a woman hit by Amtrak’s Downeaster train Saturday night was accidental.

Nyla Howard, 39, of South Portland, died of multiple injuries after being hit by the train on tracks near Calvary Cemetery in South Portland about 6:55 p.m. Saturday.

The medical examiner determined her death was accidental, and not a suicide.

An incident on March 11, when a man was killed by a Downeaster train in Biddeford, apparently was a suicide.

Howard was hit about a mile south of the Portland Transportation Center.

Amtrak officials said Howard had been trespassing on the tracks and was hit by a train bound from Brunswick to Boston.

Howard apparently was not alone when the crash took place. South Portland police issued Ricky Busbee of South Portland a summons to appear in court on a charge of criminal trespass for allegedly being on the tracks moments before the crash, a spokeswoman for Amtrak said.


Shipyard to begin work designing Coast Guard ship

Maine’s Bath Iron Works and two other shipyards have been given the green light to proceed with design work on an offshore patrol cutter for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Two other shipbuilders protested the fixed-cost contract that went to Bath Iron Works, Bollinger Shipyards in Louisiana and Eastern Shipbuilding in Florida. But the Coast Guard announced Wednesday that its decision was upheld by the Government Accountability Office.

The Coast Guard hopes to build new ships to replace its aging fleet of 210-foot and 270-foot cutters.

The process came to a halt when protests were filed in February. The contract now calls for work to start July and be completed within 18 months, Bath Iron Works spokesman Matt Wickenheiser said.

Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics subsidiary, wants to expand beyond Navy work. It previously bid on other Coast Guard cutters and a high-speed vessel for the Army and Marines, but other companies won those contracts.


Mount Katahdin rock slide closes popular Abol Trail

Baxter State Park has closed a popular trail that leads to the top of Mount Katahdin.

Park Director Jensen Bissell told WZON-AM that a rock slide this spring “obliterated” much of the Abol Trail. He said the area remains unstable, with the potential for more rocks to tumble down.

The Abol Trail is the shortest and steepest trail to the summit with an elevation gain of nearly 4,000 feet. But it’s never been an easy trail because of loose stone and gravel.

Bissell said the trail will be closed for the season. He said park officials need time to examine the trail in detail and determine future options.


Missing Maine man, 88, found dead in his vehicle

An 88-year-old Maine man reported missing earlier this week has been found dead in his car off a Massachusetts highway.

Authorities say the body of Elmer MacFadyen of Greenville was in his car about 40 yards off an Interstate 290 ramp in Shrewsbury.

The vehicle, found late Wednesday night, had gone down an embankment and ended up in a wooded area.

MacFadyen hadn’t been seen since Tuesday, when he left Maine on his way to Elmont, N.Y.

His cellphone had last been used in the Worcester area.

From staff and news services