Two killed in Amtrak crash

April 3, 2008 2:09:25 PM PDT
Investigators in Indiana believe a driver went around warning gates at a railroad crossing, triggering a fatal collision with an Amtrak train. Amtrak's Lakeshore Limited train #48 departed Chicago's Union Station around 10 p.m. for the nearly 21-hour long trip to New York City. About 45 minutes into the trip, the train struck a car at a railroad crossing near the Indiana Dunes.

"The Amtrak train was blowing its horn the entire time but unfortunately it could not stop in time," said Lt. Thomas Pawlak, Gary Police Department.

No one on the train was injured.

"The train stayed on the tracks and there were no injuries on the train. We had fire personal check all the passengers on the train," said Mike Bucy, Portage Fire Department.

The train was traveling more than 80 miles an hour when it struck the car at County Line Road and U.S. Highway 12. The impact killed two people inside the car. The train pushed the vehicle a half-mile down the tracks before coming to a stop.

Gary police say it appears the signals and gates were working at the time of the accident.

"There's two witnesses that were at the scene that stated that the vehicle went around the gates, two sets of gates actually, and passed one set of tracks and was passing the second set of tracks when it was struck by the Amtrak train," said Pawlak.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash.


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