The driver of a minivan who went around a downed railroad crossing gate was killed and her children were injured when their vehicle was struck by a train.
Tristian Hicks Williams, 26, was killed when the inbound Rock Island District Metra train struck her minivan near 115th and Vincennes in Morgan Park on Tuesday morning around 8 a.m. Her sons, Jayvon, 4, and JonKing, 6, were injured. Jayvon has contusions to his face and JonKing has two broken legs, according to their family. They are both hospitalized at Christ Hospital and are expected to recover.
The train was going full speed when it hit the vehicle, Metra officials said. A gray Dodge minivan was traveling westbound on 115th Street when witnesses say Hicks Williams went around the train gates and was struck by the train. The Chicago Fire Department says the family was trapped in the car after the accident.
After witnessing the accident, good samaritan Perry Logan jumped out of his car to help.
“I was just trying to get the kids away from the vehicle,” Logan said.
Hicks Williams sister, Taja Hicks, said she is not sure why Hicks Wiliams went around the train gates. She speculated Hicks Williams was running late to take her son to school.
“I don’t know how we’re gonna tell the kids. I don’t know,” Hicks said. “”Please don’t go around the safety signals& life depends on it.”
It appears the gates and lights were functioning but Metra will review their signaling systems to confirm, Metra officials said.