On Monday, a Metra train collided with a semi truck in Bartlett. The truck driver involved in the crash is now being charged by Metra police for two violations. The 41-year-old man is being cited for violating a highway-rail grade crossing and avoiding a traffic control device, according to a spokesperson for Metra. The crash caused substantial damage to the semi-trailer and the automobiles it was hauling. Fortunately, there were no fatalities associated with the wreck. The truck driver, who works for a Pennsylvania trucking company, has been issued a November 18 court date in Cook County Circuit Court.
The collision occurred in the afternoon hours where Western Avenue crosses the Metra tracks. The engineer on the train indicated that he did see the semitrailer, but that the train was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the truck. Of the more than 20 passengers riding on the Metra train, only two were injured. Neither injury is considered life threatening. The collision was violent enough to derail the lead car of the train.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, vehicle-train crashes are 11 times more likely to cause a fatality than a collision between two vehicles. With one of the largest railroad networks in the country, Illinois is home to thousands of highway-rail grade crossings. Obeying the rules at these crossings is vital to protecting the safety of train passengers, vehicles and pedestrians.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Police ticket trucker in Metra crash," by Richard Wronski, 23 October 2013