(Gardner, Illinois – February 27, 2013)
A 28-year-old resident of Essex, IL was killed about 12:30 P.M. Wednesday afternoon when his All-Terrain Vehicle was struck by Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Texas Eagle about 1/8th of a mile southwest of the Maher Road/Old Route 66 railroad crossing of Union Pacific tracks near Gardner, IL.
Brad Emanuelson and two companions, neither of whom was hurt, were riding their ATV’s alongside UPRR tracks toward Gardner when the Amtrak train, carrying 140 passengers, overtook them in the same direction of travel, clipping the victim’s vehicle, causing it to roll, tumble, and collide with the train a second time.
Gardner Fire Protection District Chief Terry Jensen said that Emanuelson “must not have heard the train and got clipped from behind.”
The victim was found five feet from the wreckage of his ATV, and was pronounced dead at the scene by Grundy County Coroner John Callahan.
Union Pacific Railroad Police were assisting Grundy County Sheriff’s Office personnel in conducting the investigation into the tragedy.