Occupants of car hit by train in Scottsdale sue Metra, Norfolk Southern

The suit accuses Metra of negligence for failing to stop the train before it hit the car or operate trains at lower speeds because of snowy conditions at the time of the crash.

SHARE Occupants of car hit by train in Scottsdale sue Metra, Norfolk Southern
A Metra train hit a vehicle in Scottsdale on the Southwest Side

Two people who were in a vehicle hit by a Metra SouthWest Service train Feb. 12, 2020, at 87th Street and Pulaski Road have filed a negligence lawsuit against Metra and the Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

Sam Kelly/Sun-Times

Two people who were injured when a Metra train hit a car earlier this month in Scottsdale on the Southwest Side are suing the transit agency for negligence.

Twyla Poe and Passion Ware filed the four-count suit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, naming Metra and the Norfolk Southern Railway Company as defendants.

The suit states Poe and Ware were in the car Feb. 12 when it got caught in a “no man’s land” between two crossing gates at 87th Street and Pulaski Road and was subsequently hit by an outbound Metra SouthWest Service train.

The impact caused the car to hit 19-year-old Christopher T. Davis, who was on foot nearby, according to a Metra spokesperson and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He died two days later at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Three other people were taken to hospitals in critical condition, one to Christ and the others to the University of Chicago Medical Center, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Surveillance video shared with the Sun-Times appears to show the moments before the collision. A car stops just past the train crossing gate before the gate comes down on top of the car’s trunk.

The car attempts to reverse and then drives forward into the path of the approaching train.

The suit accuses Metra of negligence for failing to stop the train before it hit the car or operate trains at lower speeds because of snowy conditions at the time of the crash.

It also alleges that Metra and Norfolk Southern, which owns the tracks in the area, knew about previous crashes at the crossing and failed to properly maintain the signal system or warn motorists and train operators about the risk of vehicles getting stuck between the gates.

Two people were killed and four others injured when a train hit a vehicle in the crossing in December 2015. Another woman was hurt when a train struck an SUV at the crossing in January 2016.

A Metra spokesperson reached Wednesday evening said the agency does not comment on pending litigation. A representative for Norfolk Southern did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit is seeking at least $200,000 in damages plus legal costs.

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