Video footage from a dashcam showed a police officer narrowly avoiding an oncoming train.
The footage was posted by the driver of the vehicle, Officer Peter Stanglewicz of Mokena, Illinois.
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The footage was from Nov. 9 at 191st Street and the Rock Island District line.
Metra spokeswoman Katie Dahlstrom told the Chicago Tribune that an electrical short caused a malfunction at the crossing, leaving drivers with no warning that a train was coming.
In the video, the warning lights only activate when a blue SUV ahead of Stanglewicz crossed the tracks. None of the stop arms are down.
A red SUV crosses the tracks going the opposite direction with just feet to spare as the train barrels through.
“A signal maintainer who had arrived on scene a few minutes earlier for a separate issue immediately started investigating this incident and put additional protections in place to prevent trains from proceeding through the intersection until the problem could be fixed,” she said.
Metra Rail dispatched a crew to investigate and make repairs.
“It was determined to be an electrical short, which was repaired by 3:40 p.m. the same day. The crossing was exhaustively tested before the additional protections were lifted,” Dahlstrom said.
“We take incidents like this very seriously, which is why we immediately address them. We also modified a procedure as an additional layer of protection to ensure something like this does not happen at this intersection again.”
In a statement, the Mokena Police Department added: “Officer Peter Stanglewicz was traveling westbound on 191st Street that morning when he observed a moving inbound train approaching the rail line’s crossing.
“He immediately noticed that the gates and lights at the crossing had not activated warning of the approaching train’s presence,” the statement continued. To avoid colliding with the train, Officer Stanglewicz took evasive action by turning hard left prior to reaching the tracks.”
The department said, “His squad car crossed the raised center median and came to rest in the eastbound lanes of 191st Street just as the train cleared the crossing. The village of Mokena is thankful that there were no injuries to Officer Stanglewicz or any other motorists as a result of this unfortunate incident.”
People on Facebook, where the footage has been viewed nearly one million times, said the footage was stunning.
“This is ridiculously scary! I have crossed these tracks many times but it can happen anywhere. Glad you are ok!” said one user.
“I have watched this so many times and then I started crying. You are so calm. I guess that’s why you are in the perfect profession. I’m glad you are ok. These are the things we take for granted. We just assume those gates are going to work. Wow!” added another.
From NTD News