Car crashes on Metra tracks after crane collapse

August 15, 2012 9:10:41 PM PDT
A driver crashed over an embankment Wednesday night, landing on the railroad tracks where a crane had fallen earlier in the day.

The woman driving told police she simply lost control of the car as it went over the curb. As a precaution personnel, who were still on the scene from the earlier crane collapse, shut down all traffic both ways for a second time in one day. The car was removed from the tracks and trains were moving again by about 10 p.m.

Inbound and outbound trains on Metra's Burlington Northern Santa Fe line were affected by the accidents, which happened in west suburban Westmont.

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On Wednesday afternoon, despite warnings from Metra of delays up to two hours, trains arrived at the Westmont station about a half hour late with commuters in fairly good spirits.

"It arrived when it was supposed to leave and arrived about 12 minutes late," said commuter Ken Hanson.

Metra urged commuters on the busy BNSF line to find alternate transportation home after the crane toppled over onto the tracks near the Westmont station just before noon. Crews were installing a new overhead signal light. They all managed to scramble out of the way of the falling crane. No one was injured.

"I watched it go from up and over and everything. And when it got to that position, all of a sudden, it stopped and it just fell," said Tom Chatton, witnesss.

Metra encouraged passengers to find alternate transportation home Wednesday night but many crowded into Union station anyway.

The crane collapse meant most of the railroad's equipment was stuck on the west side of Westmont and unable to get downtown until crews cleared the tracks, leaving commuters frustrated.

"We will be trying to move toward our normal service, but passengers should expect delays," said Robert Carlton, Metra spokesperson.

"I've been stuck on these trains before coming and going. And the fact that you already prepaid for your transportation, this is how you get to work and go back home," said commuter Erika Driver.


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