Metra Releases Video of Woman, Child Running Across Tracks

Transit agency hopes video serves as reminder of dangers

By BJ Lutz
|  Thursday, Mar 18, 2010  |  Updated 8:19 AM CDT
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Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet says people often are surprised by how fast trains are moving.

Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet says people often are surprised by how fast trains are moving.

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Hoping it serves as a reminder the dangers of trying to cross a track when a train is approaching, Metra on Wednesday released chilling video that shows a 1-year-old child and her godmother running across tracks as a speeding train approaches.

The video stops just before the train hits and kills the pair.

"Seeing this video is very bone-chilling," Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said. "It’s very startling, but it also reminds us that there are only a few seconds to get across the track when the train is coming. It’s literally a matter of life and death, sadly."

Blanca Villanueva-Sanchez, 34, of the 1500 Block of Lincoln Avenue in North Chicago and 1-year-old Maria Cruz, were hit by a commuter train Saturday morning when Villanueva-Sanchez, while holding Cruz, attempted to cross the tracks at North Chicago's train station.

The train was running express and was not due to stop at the station. When the victims crossed, the lights were flashing, the bells were sounding, the horn was blowing and the engineer had applied the brake when he saw the people running, Pardonnet said.

Pardonnet said express trains are traveling in excess of 70 MPH and it takes the length of five football fields to stop them.

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