MORGAN PARK — A woman was killed and her two young sons were injured when a Metra train struck their minivan as it crossed the tracks while the gates were down.
Witnesses said that the driver crossed the tracks while the gates were down, apparently trying to beat the train, and was struck instantly, according to NBC Chicago.
The gray minivan was struck at 8:15 a.m. by the No. 302 Metra Rock Island District Line train at 115th Street near Vincennes Avenue in Morgan Park, Metra spokesman Tom Miller told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The female driver died on the scene. A bystander pulled her two injured sons from the vehicle, which had rolled after the impact, according to the Chicago Fire Department's Twitter account.
Perry Logan, who helped pull the two children, whose ages he estimated to be 5 and 7, from the wreckage, told the Chicago Tribune it was difficult to get the boys out of the vehicle.
"[T]he seatbelt was wrapped around his leg," he told the newspaper. "I pressed the unbuckle button and he got out of the van. Then he was trying to pull his little brother out. He went back in and grabbed his brother's arms. I said, 'Hold on, let me help you.'
The children were transported to Christ hospital in serious-to-critical condition, according to WGN.
A tow truck removed the damaged van from the scene Tuesday morning and cleared the intersection, which has since been reopened, ABC Chicago reports. Metra officials said they would review their signaling systems, but that it appeared the gates and lights were functioning when the van crossed the tracks.