One woman was killed Wednesday night when a Metra train struck her car at a crossing in Mokena.
Samira J. Baker, 19, of the 19200 block of Thornham Drive, died after her car was struck by a train inbound from Joliet around 9:45 p.m. at a crossing near 191st and LaGrange Road, according to Metra spokesperson Meg Reile.
Initial findings indicate the car was inside the crossing gates as the train approached. The engineer spotted the 1999 four-door Nissan and attempted to brake, throwing the engine into "emergency" mode, according to Reile. Gates were down and warning lights were flashing, the engineer recounted.
Witnesses reported that the car came to rest inside the gates—but clear of the tracks—before the gates were lowered. The car then slowly began rolling forward, onto the tracks. Witnesses told police they blared their horns in an attempt to warn the driver, as the train barreled toward the car at a reported 70 mph. But to no avail. The car was struck as it reached the second track.
Baker was alone in the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:05 a.m., according to the Will County Coroner's office. The Will County Sheriff's office has taken over the investigation.
Twenty passengers were aboard the train. They were transferred to the next train, which was delayed for about an hour.
Patch is working on further details. Check back for more.