CHICAGO — Two adults and a child were killed after a collision between a Metra train and a vehicle on Chicago’s South Side.
Around 5 p.m., a train collided with an SUV and dragged the vehicle four blocks before coming to a stop at 103rd and Vincennes, according to Metra spokesman Michael Gillis.
Forty-one passengers were on board the train at the time of the crash. Gillis said three passengers suffered minor injuries. Two were taken to a nearby hospital. A third declined medical treatment.
The child killed has been identified as 5-year-old girl Essence Ransberry.
Roadways in the area of 103rd and Vincennes remain closed off for a crash investigation. Gillis said officials will review video of the incident but adds that there is no indication that “the gate was malfunctioning.”
‘It’s heart-rendering, gut-crunching. It’s the worst thing I’ve seen,” Gillis added.
Passenger Jamie Smith said the train was cruising along when he suddenly felt a jerk.
“The lights went off. You could hear screeching at first. It was like, ‘what’s going on?’ Then you could see smoke billowing past the windows,” Smith said. “You could smell it. We continued hearing that screeching and you could just tell something was not right.”
Describing the encounter, passenger Nisa Clarke said she felt the impact of the train colliding with the vehicle.
“The train jumped forward. We didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “We looked out the window. It was a bunch of smoke. This guy came and he said the train had hit a car.”
Authorities said an engineer was injured. He was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in good condition.
The front Metra car derailed due to impact, officials added. The train was headed from Joliet to Chicago.
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Greg Smalls says he was sitting in the third car of the train when he heard “the motorman blow the horn, trying to get the people on the track out of the way.”
“Unfortunately, they just couldn’t beat him,” Smalls added. “This is the results of that.”
Smalls said that this is the second time he was on board a train where a collision occurred, resulting in the loss of life.
“I just want people to know, you’re not going to beat a train,” he said. “Hang up your phones. Focus. I don’t care who you think you are. You’re not going to win.”
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