The National Transportation Safety Board is now leading an investigation after a passenger was killed and two other passengers and two BNSF staff members were injured in an accident at an avenue crossing. All injuries were described as minor.
“All of us at Metra and BNSF Railway are devastated by this death, and we will work hand in hand with the NTSB to find out what happened,” Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.
The truck caught fire after hitting a Metro train
Authorities did not disclose the identity of the slain woman, but she appeared to have been thrown from inside the train when it crashed into a truck.
The incident made a chaotic and scary morning for many passengers and people living downtown.
“It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen,” said commuter Tim French.
The crash seemed to have occurred when the truck was stuck in the rails as the Metro train pulled up to Clarendon Hills.
Metro officials report a fatal crash
Video taken by eyewitnesses from the scene showed how the initial chaos of the train made its way through the truck before it caught fire. Witness Tom Zurgot said he was in the car right behind the truck.
“Suddenly I saw three guys in the truck jump out as fast as they could, and then the train crashed into his forehead at full speed,” Zurgot said. “It was shocking … you see a video of trains hitting cars all the time, but then you see it live and you see a truck lifted into the air and pushed about 100 feet.”
The men in the truck were evacuated unharmed.
The explosion occurred a few meters from passengers waiting at the Metro stop.
“Debris was flying everywhere, and then we saw the truck just spinning and exploding,” French said.
Chopper7 due to the fatal Metra crash
Construction at this stop in Clarendon Hills has been going on for about a year now as a new station is being built. Travelers believe the construction could have delayed the truck on these roads.
“I think that’s probably what everyone else did, it’s that you get to that lip, and you have to go very slow,” French said, “and that’s probably one of the reasons why the truck driver sat there. “
A Metra spokesman said it was the second crash to kill a passenger in Metra history. The first fatal crash occurred in Chicago on September 17, 2005, when two passengers were killed in an accident on the Rock Island line near a bridge on 47th Street.
“The car that drove the train will have a front camera and it will be loaded,” Gillis said.
It is unclear whether they will refer to the truck driver.
Changes in the Metra BNSF schedule
Metra reported that BNSF trains plan to stop at Clarendon Hills station on Wednesday night to have passengers pick up cars left at the station on Wednesday morning, but passengers will not be allowed to disembark from the station.
On Thursday, Metra reported that the BNSF line will run on a Saturday schedule. At Clarendon Hills station trains will not stop.
Metra also said riders could use the Union Pacific West Line as an alternative and could call the RTA at (312) 836-7000 to get help with the trip.
Travelers should continue to wait for delays.
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