Driver cited in I-290 car, train crash

June 11, 2009 9:49:25 AM PDT
Service along the CTA's Blue Line is back on schedule following an accident involving a car and a train early Thursday morning.Police believe wet conditions caused a crash that sent a car on the Eisenhower Expressway onto train tracks where it was pinned under an oncoming train.

" Just going on normally. All of a sudden it felt like we got hit by something. There was a dragging and a lot of shaking. All the lights went off in the car and the doors popped open. Then the train finally came to a stop. Everybody was running around trying to see if everybody was ok," said Dale Ellis, train passenger.

Thirty people were on the train. No serious injuries were reported, but 9 people were treated at hospitals for bumps and bruises.

"There was a couple neck and back injuries, and then I know a foot injury and just probably people distraught from the accident," said James Purl, 13th Battalion Chief, Chicago Fire Dept.

Half an hour after the crash, a second train came to move the passengers away from the scene. The Blue Line was shut down for a few hours so shuttle buses were put in place.

"There doesn't appear at this point to be significant damage. Obviously, we want to get the train moved so we can look at everything underneath, but the preliminary indications are that there wasn't significant damage," said Noelle Gaffney, CTA spokesperson

Illinois State Police said speed and a wet expressway are probably to be blamed for the crash, which happened at 4:10 a.m. Officials said a 2008 white Dodge Charger driven by Jose Rivera, 31, of Melrose Park rear-ended another vehicle. Both vehicles lost control. Rivera's car jumped an embankment to land on the adjacent CTA tracks. His car became pinned under the front of the 40ur-car train.

A third car whose driver saw the crash struck a median.

Rivera was cited with improper lane usage and no insurance. Further citations are pending.

Earlier reports that drugs and alcohol could play a factor were erroneous, according to police.

Traffic and trains were back on schedule just a couple hours after the incident.


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