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Metra releases video of train nearly striking vehicles in Mokena

Footage from a video released by Metra on Jan. 16 shows a vehicle crossing the tracks just seconds before a train passes through on Nov. 9. | Metra

Metra officials Wednesday released a video of a train narrowly missing a police vehicle and two SUVs after a gate malfunctioned last fall in southwest suburban Mokena.

On Nov. 9, inbound Rock Island District Train 506 came close to striking the three vehicles about 8:45 a.m. at 191st Street in the southwest suburb when the crossing gates and lights failed to activate, according to Metra officials and Mokena police.

Video provided by Metra

Mokena Police Officer Peter Stanglewicz — one of the drivers who just barely missed being struck by the train — captured the encounter on his dashcam.

That video was made public in late December and shows Stanglewicz veering off to a quick stop just before reaching the tracks where the train was barreling through at 52 miles per hour, according to Metra.

In a review of the incident released Wednesday, Metra said the problem was caused by an electrical short in the crossing gate.

At the time the gate malfunctioned, a signal maintainer was already nearby addressing a track signal issue that had been improperly signaling conductors to halt at a place they didn’t normally stop, Metra said.

After the near-miss, trains were immediately prevented from going through the intersection without first stopping and having a conductor get off and check the crossing. The signal issue was fixed by 3:40 p.m. that day, Metra said.

Metra released video footage of Train 506, and four other trains that passed through the the 191st Street intersection that morning.