Lady killed in Melrose Park practice crash after man drives round railroad gates


A man drove around railroad crossing gates in west suburban Melrose Park Friday morning, investigators said. His car was struck by a freight train and pushed several blocks. His female passenger was killed.

The impact occurred just before 2 a.m. on the border of Melrose Park and Maywood, at the crossing located at Main Street and north 19th Avenue. The Union Pacific freight train pushed the vehicle along the tracks to the area near North 15th and Railroad avenues.

It took more than 40 minutes to extricate the 20-year-old woman from the car. She died at the scene.

The man driving the car was pulled from the vehicle by a police officer who arrived first at the scene, Bronaugh said. He was transported to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he is listed in critical condition.

Neither the train’s engineer, nor the conductor, were injured.

Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh said he hopes this serves as a lesson to others thinking of driving around the crossing gates.

“Under no circumstances to we want anyone, for any reason, to go around the railroad gates. The outcome is usually bad. There are times when the car wins, but the odds are not good. Again, we strongly recommend not doing that,” Bronaugh said.

The freight train was headed to Chicago from Los Angeles at the time of the crash.

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