(Du Quoin, Illinois – August 28, 2014)
A 12-year-old Du Quoin, IL boy on his bicycle awaited the passage of a southbound Canadian National freight train, only to ride into the path of a northbound Amtrak passenger train that was hidden from his view by the first train at Du Quoin’s Main Street/CN grade crossing at about 4:38 P.M. Thursday.
Austin Booker was dealt a glancing blow by the train, which may have been travelling toward its Chicago destination at a speed as high as 79 mph, and received serious injuries to his upper leg and back. The victim was still conscious and talking when emergency workers arrived and he was first taken to Du Quoin’s Marshall Browning Hospital, but was subsequently airlifted to Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
The double-tracked Main Street/CN crossing is equipped with both crossing gates and lights, but the victim crossed at a lane intended for pedestrians. The intersection accommodates a daily average of 27 CN and Norfolk Southern freight and Amtrak passenger trains.