Our Chicago personal injury lawyers were sad to read this afternoon about the Illinois train accident in Oak Forest, Illinois, the hometown of a member of our staff. Oak Forest is located less than thirty miles southwest of Chicago. The Rock Island train to and from Chicago passes through Oak Forest multiple times daily, making the Cook County suburb a popular location for Chicago commuters.
This afternoon, one of those commuter trains heading to Chicago was involved in a horrific train-car collision, killing two women in their eighties and sending eight passengers to local hospitals with train accident personal injuries. One passenger reported that he believed the train was going to tip over, which was what he was afraid of. All 89 passengers on board the Metra Rock Island train to Chicago, which was scheduled to arrive at 4:33 p.m., were evacuated safely.
The victims’ car, severely damaged, was lodged underneath the train and dragged about a quarter-mile east of Central Avenue following the collision. Oak Forest Fire Chief Terry Lipinski characterized the car-train accident as “one of the worst hits I’ve seen down these tracks in a long time.” Another factor facing these passengers and emergency responders was the extreme heat – the crash occurred on the hottest day of the year. Temperatures were record at about 101 degrees. Two Pace buses, which functioned as cooling stations, were called to the scene, arriving 45 minutes after the crash with water and granola bars for the individuals on the scene. One passenger admitted that the 45-minute wait was extremely hot, but “people were handling it really well.”
The train conductor, who saw the car on the tracks, attempted to stop before the train versus car collision, but was unable to. A spokeswoman explained that it takes the length of several football fields to stop a train; there just was not enough time.
You can read more about the tragic Oak Forest train accident at The Southtown Star.