October 25, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Vehicle hit by rail equipment after driver goes around gates

A 2001 Ford Taurus sustained moderate damage after it was hit by rail equipment on Tuesday. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

A 2001 Ford Taurus sustained moderate damage after it was hit by rail equipment on Tuesday. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

VERMILION – A teen was cited after he drove around railroad crossing gates and was struck by a rail maintenance machine.

The 16-year-old driver, who was not named, was driving a 2001 Ford Taurus southbound on Vermilion Road on Tuesday when a passing train activated the crossing gates, according to Vermilion Police Cpl. Rick Riggs.

As the train passed, a Kershaw Ballast Regulator heading eastbound on the tracks sounded its horn.

Riggs said the teen thought the horn came from the car behind him, so he drove around the crossing gates. The car was struck by the rail equipment, and sustained moderate damage to the passenger side.

There were two juvenile passengers in the car. None of the vehicle’s occupants were injured, Riggs said.

The driver was cited for driving around the gates.


  • Chan

    His or her license should immediately be suspended until the age of 21.

    • Steven

      doesn’t mean they’ll be any smarter…

  • stop ur whining part deux

    ….and had this little moron be struck and killed by a train his parents would have sued the city and the railway.

  • luvmytoaster

    Well he IS only 16, I’m sure he has learned his lesson. I’m just glad that no one was hurt, it would have been much worse if the train had hit him.

    • John Demirjian

      Horsefeathers, he was 16 and knew better.

      • luvmytoaster

        Did you know better at 16? I doubt it…..

        • Steven

          uh, closed railroad crossing arms? A ten year old knows better.

        • John Demirjian

          Damn straight, I knew better.

  • tommtomm

    no one should get a license until 18yo

    • Melissa Merrill Snyder

      Then it would have been an 18 yo that did it. An inexperienced driver is an inexperienced driver no matter what the age.

      • Oneday67

        An inexperienced driver ends up in a ditch when there is ice on the road. No excuse for going around a crossing gate on train tracks.

      • Steven

        Melissa, closed crossing gates are just that. Had he been at a red light and the “car behind him beeped” would he have gone into the intersection? Well, maybe….

        drivers license tests don’t ask a thing that is relevant.

  • Creepy Gun Toting Cracker

    I’ve seen maintenance machines go by on Coen Rd and the gates never did come down.

  • Pablo Jones

    93% of US drivers think they are above average drivers. I find it funny when people say they are good drivers because of the 3 or 4 accidents they have been in it wasn’t their fault. I tell them if they were a good driver you would have been able to prevent the accident.

  • Sis Delish

    The boy should be immediately contacted by the Hlliary Clinton 2016 Campaign Team as he could be the poster boy for a Train Wreck of a Candidacy!

  • oldruss

    Fortunately, this was a non-injury collision with only property damage. It could have been much worse. As to why the driver’s identity has to be kept a secret, that is a whole different story, best left to another time.

  • Roger Williams

    Intermodal train going seventy plus mph would have killed him! Red lights (and gates) mean stop for all you idiots who don’t know that!! Trains weight thousands of pounds and can’t stop on a dime, even if the engineer sees you on the tracks. Stay off the tracks/railroad property, walking or driving and live, otherwise leave instructions for your funeral!!!

  • Wombat

    So…the boom gates were closed, but “someone beeped a horn”, he assumed it was the car behind him, so he DRIVE AROUND THE CLOSED BOOM GATES.
    No, sorry, that’s not inexperience, that’s not being a new driver…that’s being A GODDAMN BRAIN DEAD MORON. What happens next time this idiot is parked at a stop sign, or a red traffic light? The moment someone toots their horn behind him, will he ignore the signals in front of him and just drive off?
    He needs his licence taken away for such blatant stupidity…
    He’s just damn lucky it was a track machine and not a fast commuter or something. Here in Australia the coal trains I drive weigh 10,000 tonnes and are a mile long, taking up to two kilometers to stop, yet people still do what this kid did, expecting us to be able to stop on a dime. Sorry, don’t work like that…