A terrible tragedy took place last week in University Park, Illinois, where an Amtrak train struck an SUV, leading to the death of a 26 year old Naperville dance instructor.
Investigators have now said that track crews inadvertently turned off the gates and warning lights, which led to the collision. A video camera aboard the four-car Amtrak train night corroborated the preliminary findings, officials said.
Canadian National crews had been working on a signal system related to switching trains from one track to another within a mile of the University Park crossing, investigators said. The work on the signal system was unrelated to the crossing signals, but it delayed the raising of gates and the shutdown of other safety devices at the crossing after a train had passed, said an official close to the investigation.
As a result, the barriers, lights and bells activated properly before the approach of a train, but the warning devices continued to operate for an extended period after trains cleared, blocking traffic, several railroad sources said.
Canadian National crews tried to fix the problem and thought they had remedied it, officials said. But they actually deactivated the warning system, creating an unprotected crossing that provided motorists no indication of oncoming trains, officials said.
“This was human error. Track circuits and crossing circuits overlap. They got their wires crossed,” an investigator said.
This is a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided and will more than likely lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. To read the entire article in the Chicago Tribune, click here.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident , Chicago truck accident or Illinois train accident , then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or email or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com