(Chicago, Illinois – January 6, 2014)
Two Chicago Metra Rock Island Line passenger trains somehow slid into end-of-track bumping posts at the LaSalle Street Station arrival/departure site Monday morning, with a total of 14 passenger injuries being suffered in the second event. The first accident, which occurred on the 6:15 arrival from Joliet, IL shook passengers up but no injuries were reported.
One passenger on the early train, Kathy Marthaler, a court reporter from Mokena, IL, said that when the train she was aboard struck the bumping post “It was like a big boom and a good jolt,” she told Tammy Weber of the Associated Press. Undaunted, however, Marthaler then walked six blocks through 15 below-zero weather with a minus forty degree wind chill, only to learn that the trial she was scheduled to work had been canceled. “I risked my life on the train, then I risked it again in the cold,” she mused as she waited for a train to take her back to Mokena.
The second collision occurred at about 8:45 a.m. and was far more serious, as six of the 14 injured passengers among the 175 on board the Joliet-originating train were taken to hospitals for treatment of undisclosed injuries termed “minor”, while the other eight refused treatment, according to Metra Spokesman Michael Gillis.
Gillis said that, although it was not immediately known as to whether the trains slid on the tracks or if there was a mechanical or brake problem, all subsequent trains arriving at LaSalle Street were ordered to approach the south downtown-located station at “walking speed” to guard against any further incidents.