Driver cited for disobeying signal in Midlo Metra crash
October 9, 2012 11:28AM
A silver van struck by a Metra train in Midlothian on Monday is loaded onto a tow truck. | Mike Nolan~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:18AM
An 86-year-old Midlothian man who was hurt when a Metra train hit his van Monday was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an auto accident and for disobeying a railroad signal, authorities said.
Witnesses said a silver Mazda minivan was traveling north on Pulaski Road when the driver went through downed gates at a railroad crossing at about 149th Street in Midlothian, Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said.
The crossing gate bounced over the top of the vehicle, which then slowed or stopped on the railroad tracks before being struck by the train, Reile said. The train engineer blew the horn four times to alert the driver before the crash.
The man, who was the only person in the vehicle, was conscious after the accident, Midlothian Deputy Police Chief Steve Zamiar said. He was hospitalized at South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Reile said.
Some evening rush-hour trains on the Rock Island District line were delayed for more than an hour. The Rock Island Line runs from downtown Chicago to Joliet.
Metra police are investigating.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media, Mike Nolan