Chesterton Tribune



South Shore train collides with truck in Ogden Dunes

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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 approaching.

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 hit.

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, Maynard said.

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 sparks flying.”

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.


Posted 5/31/2019





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