Another driver escapes death in Chicago-area train crossing crash

Last week we wrote about a Chicago-area train accident that could have easily been fatal. In that crash, icy and slippery roads caused a woman’s car to lose traction, leaving her in the path of an oncoming train. Although the front of her car was hit and spun around violently, the woman was able to walk away from the crash relatively uninjured.

Accidents at train crossings are an unfortunately common occurrence in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. Another train accident last week in nearby Riverside occurred under slightly different circumstances but had a nearly identical outcome.

According to news reports, a woman’s car became caught between crossing gates due to heavy traffic on either side of the tracks. This put her directly in the path of an Amtrak train carrying nearly 100 passengers. Because of the traffic in front of her, she could not go forward.

Thankfully, drivers in other vehicles behind her were able to give her room to back up. Although her car was hit by the train, only the front of the vehicle was clipped. The police chief in Riverside explained that “if it had been maybe another 10 to 12 feet forward, it would have hit the driver’s side of her vehicle and we would be investigating a fatality.”

The collision spun the car around. The driver was treated for injuries, but there is no question about the fact that things could have been a lot worse.

As we wrote last week, this accident will hopefully serve as a cautionary tale to all drivers. Illinois has thousands of these train crossings, and each one poses a fatal risk to every driver crossing over train tracks.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Metra BNSF moving again after Amtrak hits car in Riverside,” LeeAnn Shelton, Feb. 20, 2014