CHICAGO — Surveillance video shows the moments before four people were critically injured after a Metra train plowed into a vehicle in Chicago’s Scottsdale neighborhood on the Southwest Side.
The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, when southbound Train No. 833 struck a vehicle that went around the gate at 87th Street and Pulaski Avenue.
According to Metra, the lights were flashing, the gates were down and other vehicles had stopped, but the female driver sped around the gates.
However attorney Ben Crane said the video from a nearby security camera is at odds with what was said about the incident at first. Video shows the Hyundai Elantra stopped on 87th Street and Pulaski Avenue. The crossing gate are seen coming down and landing on top of the back of the car — the 26-year-old driver positioned too far into the intersection. She quickly tries to back up, but realizing she can’t go anywhere, she drives forward and is hit by the southbound Metra train.
The impact critically injured three women, in their 20s, who were in the vehicle — two of them said to be in grave condition. A 19-year-old pedestrian, who was standing at a nearby bus stop, was also hospitalized.
The car was so badly damaged it took some time for emergency crews to extricate the victims.
There have been other significant incidents at this crossing in recent years. In December 2015, two people were killed and several injured in another collision between a vehicle and a train. And four years ago, a woman suffered minor injuries when a train hit her SUV at the same crossing.
Crane is suing Metra on behalf of the two young women who died in 2015.
Crews were on hand Thursday because the latest incident also caused some exterior damage to a signal station. The system remains on line and working properly.
The incident is under investigation.