Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Train-crossing accident in suburb of Chicago ends without injury

The especially harsh winter hitting the Midwest this year is causing more than a few problems for Chicagoans and others throughout Illinois. Heavy snowfall and extremely low temperatures often combine to create significant travel hazards and raise the risk of car accidents.

But car accidents aren’t the only danger when roads are slippery and icy. We also have to worry about crashes in areas where cars and trains intersect. Earlier this week, a woman’s car lost traction at a train crossing in the northwest suburb of Des Plaines, causing the smaller vehicle to be violently struck by an oncoming train. Amazingly, the woman was able to walk away from what could have been a fatal train accident.

A witness in the area managed to capture a cellphone video of the collision. It shows a Metra train slamming into the front, driver’s side corner of the 2005 Ford Taurus as it barrels down the tracks. The car was sent spinning around. Both the train’s horn and the sound of the impact can clearly be heard on the video.

There are thousands of intersections throughout Illinois where train tracks cross a roadway. While this particular accident could perhaps be blamed on the weather and poor road conditions, other train-crossing accidents often contain an element of negligence. This could include inadequate warning signage and malfunctioning crossing gates and lights.

Thankfully, this accident was neither fatal nor seriously injurious. These are rare outcomes when a train and car collide. Hopefully, the crash will be a reminder to all drivers about being extra careful when road conditions are slippery.

Source: NBC Chicago, "Caught On Camera: Metra Train Slams Into Car," Feb. 17, 2014

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