Metra design change coming to Hometown railroad crossing after pedestrian killed in crash involving SouthWest Service train

HOMETOWN, Ill. (WLS) -- A major design change is coming to the Metra railroad crossing where a pedestrian was killed and three others were seriously injured after a car was struck by a train last week.

At 87th Street and Pulaski Road last Wednesday, a SouthWest Service train hit a car, which then hit a pedestrian identified as 19-year-old Christopher Davis.

Surveillance video shows the moments leading up to the crash. 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.

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The change at the intersection of the railroad crossing will include moving the gate so it is parallel with the tracks instead of perpendicular to the roadway.

The work is expected to be completed by August.

Metra released a statement that read:

"The ICC conducted an analysis of the crossing in 2017, and while as currently configured, the crossing meets state and federal standards for safety, they recommended several changes. This includes moving the gates at 87th Street closer to the tracks and angling them so that they are parallel with the railroad tracks instead of perpendicular to the roadway. Funding for this project was awarded by IDOT on Aug. 21, 2019 and the project was, with IDOT and the ICC's consent, placed in Metra's 2020 work plan. We are completing the design for this work and will need to schedule any necessary road or lane closures with IDOT and the city of Chicago. Our plan is to complete the work by August 2020."

Attorney Ben Crane said he put up the camera that captured the fatal 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.

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