In a recent case, a 19-year-old man died after sustaining serious injuries in an accident that involved a Metra train striking a vehicle. Three car occupants were also severely hurt in the collision, which occurred near Pulaski Road and 87th Street on Chicago’s Southwest Side.
The pedestrian was waiting to cross the intersection when the train collided with the car, which in turn hit him. He ended up pinned under the train and died two days after the accident.
Surveillance video from moments before the collision showed the train’s crossing gate descending on the car’s trunk. The driver reversed the vehicle and then pulled forward into the path of the train as it approached the intersection.
Metra issued a statement that said the crossing’s warning devices had been activated the night before, including quad gates, bells and lights. The engineer also followed the requirement to sound his horn at the crossing.
The accident brings into question the safety of the crossing. It did not involve the pedestrian running through or around the gate. The car was permitted to be where it was, yet it became caught between the crossing gate and the tracks as the train approached.
NBC 5 Investigates examined Federal Railroad Administration accident reports and found that four collisions have occurred at the same location over the past eight years. Additionally, Metra was named in a lawsuit last year in connection to the deaths of two people in a 2015 accident between a train and car. The vehicle had been attempting to go over the crossing.
Safety remains a concern at train crossings. Anyone who suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a Chicago train accident obviously wants answers. While those are often hard to come by, it is possible to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Victims have the right to sue for damages and hold the negligent party accountable, whether it is Metra, its train drivers or other employees who were responsible for the accident.