Two witnesses say that crossing lights and gates were not working when an Amtrack train hit an SUV killing Katie Lunn, a dance instructor at a crossing in University Park. (Chicago Tribune, 4/18, J. Gorner). One witness, who is also a Cook County prosecutor, was driving the car in front of Lunn as they were leaving a dance competition, and asserted that the train missed her by just a few feet. She said that there were two sets of tracks and, “there was no way for a car to know the train was coming. No indication whatsoever, until it honked.”
Witnesses agreed that there was no indication that a train was approaching. The gates were not down and were not coming down, there were no warning bells, and the intersection was not well lit and those who knew it well said it was difficult to navigate. Work crews spent Friday clearing the wreckage and installing new signal arms.
This incident is disturbing to all Chigoans who cross train tracks daily, relying on signals for work, and as a personal injury attorney in Chicago, I'm hopeful that all cities will ensure that their crossing signals are functional property to avoid injuries in the future.