A 27-year-old Metro East woman died Tuesday when she drove in front of an Amtrak train heading south from Chicago toward St. Louis. The collision happened at the Bissell Street crossing in Madison, IL. Madison police say she had just turned off Route 3.
The impact pushed the victim's Pontiac G-6 sedan off the tracks and into a concrete utility shed that housed controls for the railroad crossing bars. Union Pacific owns those tracks. Several workers were inside a second utility shed about a car's width away from where her car landed.
Madison Police Chief Steven Shelby said no railroad passengers or employees from either Amtrak or Union Pacific were injured. The five car Amtrak train backed up after the accident and remained there until just before 2pm when investigators allowed it to resume its journey to St. Louis.
Investigators from the Illinois State Police accident reconstruction team were called in to analyze the accident. Chief Shelby said several witnesses gave conflicting reports as to whether the crossing bars that warn a train is approaching were lowered, but he said everyone he spoke to agreed the railroad warning lights were flashing.
The Madison County Coroner's Office said the victim was pronounced dead at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City. As of Tuesday night, authorities were still trying to reach her relatives and therefore were unable to release her name.