Chicago (CBS) — Many drivers in Mokena are still rattled from dash cam video posted by an officer showing a horrifying near-hit with a Metra train on Nov. 9 at the 191st Street crossing.
At the time, Metra said no other incidents were reported and that the electrical short that left the crossing gates up had been corrected.
But now, Metra’s coming clean, saying over two hours, four trains were impacted by the malfunction.
“We went back and were really troubled by what we saw,” Metra CEO and executive director Jim Derwinski said.
A video released by Metra Wednesday shows nearly the same terrifying scenario involving cars driving across the tracks without any warning of the oncoming 49-mile-per-hour train.
But the second video was taken more than an hour before the first, and Metra says the locomotive engineer failed to report it.
According to Metra’s investigation, the gates then stayed down too long for train 414. For train 416, the gates were wavering up and down.
It’s not until 8:42 a.m. that dash cam video is available for train 506.
The crossing arms failed to come down again as the train was barreling down at 52 miles per hour, narrowly missing a dark SUV.
This time the failure was reported as it should have been in the first place.
Metra says that in response, they’ve instituted a new operating rule that would require engineers that are given permission to pass a stop track signal to proceed at a restricted speed of 20 miles per hour or less.
Metra said one failure is one too many. They are asking the public to report any activation failures that they see using the information on the blue signs that are posted at every crossing.
Derwinski said he could not comment on whether the engineer who failed to report the issue had been disciplined.