A drunken Brookfield man caused a five-car crash Thursday evening near Metra train tracks in west suburban Riverside.
Officers responded about 6:30 p.m. to calls of a multi-vehicle crash at the intersection of Longcommon Road and Pine Avenue, according to Riverside Police. The first responding officer confirmed that five vehicles were involved in the crash, and observed the driver of a 2007 Ford truck staggering in a stupor, appearing visibly intoxicated.
Four vehicles were damaged in the crash, and multiple injuries were reported, police said. The first responding officer took the impaired driver into custody while a second officer handled the injuries.
While in custody, Joshua A. Digweed, 30, told investigators he had mechanical problems that caused his truck to lunge forward, police said.
However, a witness told investigators that Digweed drove his truck northbound through downed railroad gates, police said. When the train cleared the area, Digweed drove across the tracks, striking the gate and barely avoiding an oncoming express train. Digweed then proceeded northbound and struck four vehicles.
Officers observed that Digweed’s pupils were constricted and slow, and his speech slurred and raspy, police said. He was also observed swaying from side to side and had difficulty standing.
Digweed failed every roadside field sobriety test at the scene of the crash, police said. He also told officers he had been smoking marijuana prior the crash. He then refused chemical testing and became uncooperative with investigators.
Digweed was charged driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, disobeying a grade crossing signal, and other citations related to the crash, police said.
“Make no mistake — a fatal vehicle/train accident was narrowly avoided Thursday evening,” Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in a statement.
Everyone injured in the crash was treated by paramedics at the scene with the exception of a 54-year-old Chicago woman, who was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn with non-life threatening injuries.