Metra accident: Video shows moments before SouthWest Service train hits car, injuring 4 on Southwest Side

ByJesse Kirsch WLS logo
Friday, February 14, 2020
Metra accident: Video shows moments before SouthWest Service train hits car at 87th and Pulaski, injuring 4 on Southwest Side
New surveillance video shows the moments before a Metra train struck a car in Chicago's Scottsdale neighborhood Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Metra train crashed into a car in Chicago's Scottsdale neighborhood Wednesday, sending four people to the hospital with critical injuries.

New surveillance video of the crash shows the moments before a SouthWest Service train struck a car at 87th Street and Pulaski Road at around 7:30 p.m.

The video shows the crossing gate go down right on the car's trunk. The driver appears to put the car in reverse and then back in drive as the train heads toward the intersection.

The train hits the car and that car then strikes a pedestrian.

Four people in total were injured in the collision, including the pedestrian who was pinned under the train.

Metra said two people are hospitalized in critical condition and two others are in serious condition.

Efrain Ramirez, who works nearby, said he's seen this play out before at the intersection when the crossing gates come down.

"They will be on the other side of it, they will see a train coming, not knowing that they can really sit there and be OK, so they will panic and they will try to go and they will slip on this rubber," Ramirez said.

Metra released a statement Thursday night, saying, "Safety is always Metra's highest priority. This crossing is equipped with several warning devices, including lights, bells and quad gates, and we know those warning devices activated last night. We also know the engineer sounded his horn at the crossing as required. The incident remains under investigation."

Attorney Ben Crane said he put up the camera that captured Wednesday's crash several months ago.

"We were essentially collecting evidence to prove that this no man's land they have created here by the way they're operating this crossing is super dangerous," Crane said.

Crane filed a lawsuit last year against Metra in connection to a 2015 crash involving a train and car that killed two people.

Crane said the traffic signals and warning devices are not effective.

"People got to be careful out here," he said. "This is a terrible situation. So far, the people who have control of it aren't doing anything to prevent it. They want to blame the people who end up in this situation like this."

A Metra spokesperson told ABC7 that they do not comment on pending litigation in general.

SouthWest Service ran as normal during the commute Thursday morning. The crash remains under investigation by Metra police.