Warning lights and crossing gates not working during fatal Chicago area train accident

UPDATE: There is now video showing that the gates were not down and the lights were not activated during last Friday’s fatal Chicago area train crash, according to NBC News. The video is from the Amtrak train involved in the collision. It is also being reported that Canadian National crews had been working within a mile of the crash earlier that day and accidentally disabled the warning system and gates.

Witnesses to Friday’s train accident that killed a dance instructor in Cook County are saying that the crossing gates and warning lights were not working when an Amtrak train came barreling through, according to the Chicago Breaking News Center. One of the witnesses was an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney who works in the Old Orchard Courthouse.The prosecutor stated that she was right in front of the SUV that was hit at the University Park railroad crossing, and that she was very close to being hit herself. She said there was no way for the SUV driver to know the train was coming and that the first warning of the danger was the train blowing its horn. She went on to say that no one was trying to go around a gate or beat the train, and that no one knew the train was there.

The tracks are reportedly owned by the Canadian National Railway Company who has sent investigators to the scene. A Will County sheriff’s police spokesman stated that part of the problem is the tracks are too close to a stop sign at Governor’s Highway, and that drivers can get caught on the tracks while approaching it.

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