Metra BNSF trains traveling between Aurora and Chicago will operate on a modified schedule Thursday after a train on Wednesday in Clarendon Hills struck a moving semi-trailer on the tracks.
The collision, around 8 a.m. Wednesday, sent the truck, which caught fire due to the impacts, soaring through the air and into an adjacent parking lot. Four people were injured and one was killed in the accident.
It's the second crash in the transit agency’s history to kill a train passenger.
According to Metra, inbound and outbound BNSF trains will not be stopping at Clarendon Hills until further notice. The line is currently operating on a modified Saturday schedule, and all local trains will make all scheduled stops with the exception of Clarendon Hills.
Express trains will remain as scheduled, and delays are expected near the incident site, which remains active with National Transportation Safety Board investigators on scene.
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What Occurred at the Time of the Collision
BNSF Metra Train 1242 struck a moving semitrailer around 8 a.m. at Prospect Avenue when the truck driver became stuck, on the tracks while the gates were down, behind another vehicle, Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said Wednesday morning.
The driver got out of the semi before the truck was hit, Reile said, citing preliminary information.
Four people on the train were injured in the crash: two passengers, a BNSF conductor and a train engineer, who all had minor injuries, Metra said.
One train passenger, a woman, was killed, according to authorities. The DuPage County coroner’s office has not released her name.
Video from news helicopters showed a semitrailer in flames near the crash site.
"It was like watching a movie set. It looked fake," one witness said. "Thank God the train didn’t derail and didn’t come barreling into all the cars that were sitting there."
The truck driver was uninjured.
In a written statement, Metra said: “All of us at Metra and BNSF Railway are devastated by this death and we will cooperate fully with the NTSB investigation.”
Metra's Altered Schedule and Commuter Impacts
BNSF trains are not currently stopping at Clarendon Hills until further notice, Metra said.
BNSF trains Thursday will operate on a modified Saturday schedule, Metra said in a tweet. Local trains will be making all scheduled stops, with the exception of Clarendon Hills. Express trains will operate as scheduled.
Delays are expected near the accident site. With the Clarendon Hills station closed, passengers are recommended to use either the West Hinsdale or Westmont stations.
Prospect Avenue is also blocked from Park to Burlington as part of the investigation.
According to Metra, the BNSF line is their busiest line.