Car Bursts into Flames, Driver Killed After Train Collision

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    NEWSLETTERS

    POLICE CHIEF JIM PRADINI OF DESPLAINES EXPLAINS WHAT HAPPENED TO CAUSE THIS DEADLY CRASH (Published Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010)

    A motorist was killed Wednesday morning when his car was struck by a Metra train as he apparently tried to drive around crossing gates in northwest suburban Des Plaines.

    UPN train No. 609, scheduled to arrive in Harvard at 9:20 a.m., struck a vehicle at River Road just after 8 a.m., according to Metra spokesman Tom Miller.

    After the car was hit by the train "it flipped upside down and caught fire," Des Plaines Fire Dept. Deputy Chief Ron Eilken said. The male driver was dead on the scene, Eilken said. 

    Once firefighters got the car fire under control they were able to extricate the body, he said.

    According to some reports at the scene, "it appears (the driver) may have been trying to go around the gates," Eilken said.

    There were no other injuries from the incident, according to Eilken.

    But fire personnel working the accident scene didn't have a moment's rest before their next call, a woman giving birth in traffic nearby.

    "Some of the guys on that (fatal accident) call got a call to deliver a baby," Eilken said.

    The mother of the baby was in traffic and in labor, he said. When fire department personnel got to them the father was standing outside the car and the mother was in the car, having just given birth, Eilken said.

    Fire crews tended to the mother then took her and her newborn baby to a nearby hospital.

    Train 609 and four others on the UPN line were delayed up to an hour and 20 minutes following the accident.