(Mount Prospect, Illinois – May 13, 2011)
A 59-year-old truck driver died around 8:30 A.M. when he allegedly drove around a lowered railroad crossing gate at the Mt. Prospect Road crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks and was struck by a downtown Chicago-bound Metra commuter passenger train.
Kazimierz Karasek of Prospect Heights, IL, was hauling concrete slabs in an 18-wheeler semi-trailer dump truck when the lead passenger car of the push-pull (locomotive on the rear of the train) operation struck his truck, killing him instantly. The train derailed but stayed upright. The engineer of the Metra train was transported to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL with serious injuries.
According to Mt. Prospect Police Chief John Dahlberg, 29 Metra passengers were taken to various hospitals in the area with non-life threatening injuries, and another 10 passengers were given on-site medical treatment. Fire and police personnel from both Mt. Prospect and Des Plaines responded to the scene, as the location of the accident was at the adjacent city limits for the two suburban Chicago communities.