Car struck by train in Hinckley;
By Benji Feldheim - Daily
HINCKLEY - Rail crossings in
Hinckley are slated to be equipped later this year with gates that will close
when trains approach - including at the crossing where a 56-year-old Sandwich
man died Tuesday after his vehicle was hit by a freight train.
Dan F. Lindner was crossing the
railroad tracks at South Oak Street just south of East Lincoln Avenue around
11:20 a.m. when his vehicle was struck by an eastbound Burlington Northern
Santa Fe freight train that was unable to stop before hitting his car.
Lindner is believed to have slowed down before entering the crossing,
Hinckley Police Chief David Walker said late Tuesday afternoon during a phone
interview, but Walker noted that authorities are still talking with witnesses
to the accident.
The impact sent Lindner's vehicle spinning into a ditch adjacent to East
Lincoln Avenue, according to Hinckley resident Rob Zimmerman, who was
standing on the north side of Lincoln Avenue at the time of the crash.
“I was outside shoveling the sidewalk when I heard a boom,” Zimmerman said.
“All I saw at first was a bunch of snow blowing around, and then I ran inside
to call the village police.”
The warning lights and bells at
the crossing were working properly at the time of the accident, and the train
sounded a warning horn as it approached the crossing, Walker said at the
The gates at the railroad crossings - as well as new lights and warning
sirens - should be installed between late March and early April, Hinckley
Village President Joe Diedrich said during a phone
interview Tuesday afternoon.
“The contract for the work has been sent to the Illinois Commerce Commission,”
Diedrich said. “Work is expected to start as soon
as the weather clears.”
Diedrich has been petitioning the state for aid in
paying for gates - which cost about $20,000 apiece to install - at the
crossings for a number of years, he said.
Lindner was pronounced dead around noon by DeKalb County Deputy Coroner Karlene Dolder, according to a
news release from the coroner's office.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe
freight train was allowed to leave around 1:30 p.m. after it was stopped for
about two hours at the Oak Street crossing, BNSF spokesman Steve Forsberg
said Tuesday afternoon in a phone interview.
The crew running the train when the accident happened was replaced by another
crew after requesting trauma relief, Forsberg said.
Hinckley's police and fire departments, as well as the DeKalb County
Sheriff's Office and the coroner's office, are still investigating the cause
of the accident, Walker said around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Tuesday's incident was at least the 12th train accident that involved a
pedestrian or vehicle in DeKalb County since September 2006, according to an
analysis of stories that have appeared in the Daily Chronicle. It was the
eighth fatality in the same time period.
Reporter Benji Feldheim
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.