Wheeling truck driver killed in Metra crash at crossing with no gates or lights
A 41-year-old Wheeling man was killed Monday when a Metra train hit the dump truck he was driving at the Hainesville Road crossing in Lake County at about 7 a.m., authorities said.
The lead car on the Milwaukee District North train derailed but did not overturn after the crash in Hainesville.
A female passenger suffered minor injuries and was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
The crossing is a private one with a sign but no lights, gates or bells, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.
The man was the only person in the truck, and officials had not released his name as of Monday.
The dump truck was split in half by the impact and thrown onto a grassy area near the tracks.
Metra is still looking into the speed of the train and whether the engineer was able to activate the brakes or not.
The collision caused delays and cancellations throughout the morning rush with trains temporarily stopped north of Grayslake. But as of 5 p.m. Monday, Metra crews had cleared the scene and service was expected to be normal Tuesday. For more information, go to metra.com.
Train 2116 was traveling from Fox Lake to Chicago. The locomotive was at the back of the train and the cab car was at the front. The cab car has controls for an engineer to operate and also accommodates riders.
Metra said at least 40 passengers were on the train at the time.
This is the second Metra crash this month involving a fatality. A female rider died May 11 in Clarendon Hills after a train hit a truck on the tracks. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating that crash.
Meanwhile, Federal Railroad Administration data shows that railway crossing collisions in Illinois rose by 25% in 2021, with 125 reported compared to 99 in 2020. That's higher than the pre-pandemic 2019 level of 123 collisions and the 2018 total of 110.
In nearly 53% of 2021 cases, trains collided with an automobile. About 22% of occurrences involved trucks, and pedestrians made up 10%.