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Malfunctioning railroad crossing gate traps school bus

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

A school bus in Coal City, IL became stuck as a railroad crossing gate came down on its hood in front of the crossing.  The bus driver approached the crossing and stopped, looked, and listened, after which the gate arm came down.  She remained calm and determined that the bus was in no danger of being hit, so remained situated as an oncoming BNSF train passed by.

This particular crossing has a recent history of malfunctions according to Susan Rutkowski, director of operations for the school district.  Thursday, Coal City police had to direct traffic around the malfunctioning gate.  This time, a bus full of children was stopped just short of being in path of an oncoming train.  Fortunately, the driver handled the situation well, though had the gates came down just moments later, the bus may have become stuck and forced to take more emergency actions.

Gates with any malfunctions should be repaired immediately.  If this particular gate has a recent history of problems, any suspicion about the malfunctioning being a one time thing should be dispelled.  It needs to be repaired and properly maintained so that more lives aren’t put at risk.


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