A Portage motorist was injured this morning after he collided with a South
Shore Train at a rail crossing just east of the Ogden Dunes/Portage South
Shore station, Portage Police said.
Portage PD Captain James Maynard told the Chesterton Tribune the
crash occurred at approximately 6:50 a.m. after the motorist, who police
identified as Elias Rosario, 54, of Portage, apparently tried to beat the
train to get into the parking lot because he was running late for work.
Maynard reported Rosario cut across U.S. 12 from Dunes Harbor Trail and
entered the Ogden Dunes station from the exit only outlet as the train was
According to the written police report, the engineer said he activated the
Train 112’s emergency brake and sounded an extra train horn when he saw
Rosario drive around the activated stop arms at the crossing and enter the
train’s path. The train was traveling at approximately 40 m.p.h. when it
Maynard said Rosario complained of pain in his neck, back, and legs. Burns
Harbor Fire Chief Bill Arney reported the BHFD transported Rosario. “When we
got there, he was already self-extricated and walking around. We treated him
for minor injuries,” Arney said.
The first two cars of the train were taken out of service due to minor
damage, including damage to a safety bell, and the tracks were undamaged,
Chesterton resident Melissa Fitzgerald was on the train at the time of the
crash. She reported another passenger on the train told her the front end of
the truck looked “totally ruined.”
“I was in the second car, so I didn’t see what happened as well as some of
the other people in the first car did,” Fitzgerald said.
“The train came to a super abrupt stop,” Fitzgerald said. “I remember seeing
Westbound train 112 was out of service for approximately 75 minutes
following the crash and trains behind it were delayed up to an hour,
according to an update from the Northwest Indiana Commuter Transportation
District (NICTD). Service was restored at approximately 8:10 a.m.
Rosario was cited for disregarding a train signal and driving left of
center, according to the Portage PD’s report.
Police estimate damage to the two train cars, a nearby INDOT signal box, and
Rosario’s 2016 GMC Sierra at up to $100,000.