Trains are no longer the prominent form of transportation and shipping that they once were. Although trains still travel with regularity in and out of Chicago, it's not always easy for people to know which tracks are frequently used and which seldom see any train traffic at all.
Perhaps this is why some people fail to use appropriate caution when approaching railroad crossings or being near train tracks. One young man recently made this mistake, and the resulting train accident nearly cost him his life. In fact, authorities are saying it's a miracle that he survived being struck by a train traveling at 110 miles per hour.
The accident occurred earlier this month in Michigan City, Indiana. A 22-year-old man was walking along the tracks and listening to music with his headphones on. His music was apparently loud enough to drown out the horn that was sounded multiple times by the conductor of an Amtrak train on its way to Chicago.
The conductor applied the emergency brakes when the man failed to move out of the way. Nonetheless, the train was moving at over 100 mph when it struck the pedestrian; throwing him approximately 20 feet from the tracks.
As gruesome as this accident was, the young man survived it. And considering the circumstances, his injuries were relatively minor. He was conscious when police found him, and suffered a broken arm, fractures to his pelvis and neck injuries.
Hopefully, the victim of this train accident ultimately considers himself fortunate. Things could have been a lot worse. And for the rest of us, this accident provides an important reminder: we can not take safety for granted at railroad crossings and near tracks. Although train traffic is less frequent than it once was, it is no less dangerous.
Source: NBC Chicago, "Man Survives Being Struck by Chicago-Bound Amtrak Train at 110 MPH," Alexandria Fisher, Aug. 19, 2013