CHICAGO (CBS) — Caught on camera.
A Metra train slams into an SUV in Arlington Heights.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has the details.
It’s jarring to watch video as an SUV crossing the tracks is hit by an inbound Metra train in Arlington Heights. It was pushed at least six car lengths until the train came to a stop a short distance away.
Hours later, crews were still working to remove the vehicle from the train’s front car and stranded passengers were recalling the impact.
“I felt a big bump, looked out the window and saw smoke coming around the side of the train,” said passenger Richard Sedin of Huntley.
“It didn’t seem like it made that loud of a bump but there was a lot of smoke coming from the rear of the train,” noted passenger Terri Lippert.
The cars on the right side of the screen are waiting as flashing lights and a downed gate keep them from moving forward. The white SUV apparently traveled on the wrong side of the road, around the gate, and onto the tracks where the impact happened.
CBS 2 checked Metra records and discovered there has been a crossing gate at this intersection since 1980.
However, in that time there have also been seven train-versus-vehicle accidents. Four involved cars that drove onto the tracks, two involved cars that were stopped on the tracks and one involved a car that was actually stuck on the tracks as the train approached.
It seemed amazing that the driver was only treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital and only one passenger was slightly injured as well.
Metra PD said that driver, Kelly O’Brien, 60, of Arlington Heights, was issued a citation for disobeying an activated crossing.