7 injured after CTA Pink Line train hits car near Cicero; service resumes

CICERO, Ill. (WLS) -- Seven people were injured after a vehicle crashed into a Pink Line train Thursday night in west suburban Cicero.

The crash disrupted service on the CTA Pink Line. Service has resumed Friday morning with a few delays.

Cicero police said just after 7:45 p.m. the car was traveling northbound on 47th Avenue when it came to a CTA crossing with the gates down for an oncoming train. Police said the car drove around the gates and onto the tracks, and was struck by a westbound Pink Line train.

A 21-year-old woman police identified as the driver sustained minor injuries and was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn. A 15-year-old boy sitting in the front passenger seat was ejected from the car and taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in critical condition. A 17-year-old boy in the rear passenger seat was taken to Loyola Hospital in serious condition.

Three people on the train suffered minor injuries and were taken to Loretto Hospital for treatment, police said. The train's conductor, who police said is in his late 40s, was taken to MacNeal for observation.

"They're like, 'Oh, there is an SUV underneath the train' and I'm like, 'No, stop,' but due to the explosion, I'm like, 'Wow it was a big explosion,'" said witness Alejandro Soto.

Residents who live in the area said there is only about a five second wait for the Pink Line trains to pass on the tracks.

Jessica Garcia said she sees drivers go around the gates all the time.

"I lived here for over 30 years and I don't know why people do it, it doesn't make any sense," she said.

Police are reminding people to obey track crossing gates when they are down for their own safety.

"We just had rail safety week last week right? The lesson is when the gates are down, they are down for a reason," said Cicero Police Superintendent Jerry Chlada Jr. "There are trains coming in multiple directions and they are going very fast and you do not see them."
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