Injured train passenger sues Metra
July 17, 2012 8:42PM
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:34AM
A Metra passenger who was hurt when a train collided a year ago with a car in Oak Forest, killing two women in the car, is suing Metra and the estate of the woman driving the car.
Jennifer Wern was aboard the Rock Island Line train when it struck the car at a crossing at 167th Street and Central Avenue, according to the lawsuit.
Donna Grace, 81, was driving the Saturn and had just dropped off a friend in Oak Forest, relatives said at the time. Her passenger, Gail Crabtree, 97, was also killed in the crash. Both women were from Tinley Park.
Tuesday’s lawsuit blames Grace for allegedly driving around the downed crossing gates and crossing the tracks when it wasn’t safe to do so and Metra for failing to avoid the crash.
Metra officials said the train’s conductor, who saw the car on the tracks, attempted to stop before the collision but couldn’t. Some wheels on the train’s first car derailed, and the passenger car was dragged about a quarter-mile east of Central Avenue.
None of the 89 passengers on the train suffered life-threatening injuries, Metra officials said.
Wern claims her injuries have cost her lost time at work as well as medical, surgical and nursing care expenses. The suit seeks at least $100,000 in damages from Metra and Grace’s estate.