A Metra passenger train struck and killed a man who reportedly drove his dump truck around downed crossing gates in Des Plaines, Ill., near Mount Prospect, Ill., reports the Naperville Sun.
The collision occurred at about 8:40 a.m., on the Metra Union Pacific's Northwest line. The intersection where the accident happened is a grade crossing, protected with gates, lights and bells, reports Patch.com.
According to witnesses, the crossing gates were down, the warnings lights shone and the no left turn sign illuminated, reports the Naperville Sun.
The deceased driver, Kazimierz Karasek, 59, of Prospect Heights, Ill., had an extensive history of hazardous moving violations, reports NBC News.
Motorists are 20 times more likely to die in an accident involving a train than in an accident involving another motor vehicle. A train weighs more than 200 tons. And it typically takes a train traveling 55 miles per hour at least a mile to come to a complete stop. So a train cannot come to a quick stop if a person or car suddenly appears on the tracks.
So 27 people got hurt, one seriously; and a train got wrecked; and the train line will be out of action for days. All because a driver apparently did not want to wait for a train to pass.
Authorities will be sure to continue investigating the Metra train wreck in Des Plaines.
- Ill. train derails after striking truck, driver killed (CBS News)
- Metra commuter train derailed in Chicago Northwest suburb of Mount Prospect (Chicago Headlines Examiner)
- Illinois Train Accidents: Frequent Fatalities Confirm Dangers (FindLaw)
- Blood on the Tracks: Train Accident Basics (FindLaw)