For the second time in a week an abandoned car was hit by a Metra train on the North Central line early Monday morning, the Daily Herald reported.
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Both incidents involved vehicles that were reported stolen; the first owner was from Morton Grove and the second from Elgin. , Metra police, Morton Grove and Elgin police are cooperating in the ongoing investigation.
Meg Reile, spokesperson for Metra, said, on average, several abandoned vehicles are struck by Metra trains throughout its 11 lines in the Chicago area each year. These two incidents, on Nov. 29 and Dec. 5, were unusual because they occurred at the same crossing, with the same train, within a week, she said. No connection linking the same offender to both events has yet been discovered, she added.
The Canadian National police reported the incident to Metra police at 6:19 a.m. on Monday, Reile said. The CN controls that section of rail. She said Metra police’s role in the investigation was primarily to secure the area and clear the area for the train.
Reile said the first incident caused longer delays and impacted more trains because in that case the vehicle became wedged underneath the train, and in the second incident the vehicle was knocked clear of the tracks.
In the incident Monday train number 100 was delayed 24 minutes, and in the incident last week it was delayed 72 minutes, Reile said.
If any safety issues occur at the crossings, whether it’s a gate malfunctioning or an abandoned vehicle on the tracks, people should look for phone numbers posted on signs at railroad crossings, Reile said. Information can often be relayed faster to dispatchers that way than by calling 9-1-1 first, she said.