Amtrak’s Pere Marquette passenger train making its return trip from Chicago to Grand Rapids ended up slamming into a stalled car stuck at the crossing in the 3400 block of Pier Road near Lynch Road in Hagar Township last night, but fortunately, the driver had left the car before the train arrived at the crossing.
Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Lt. David Zizkovsky says his department was dispatched to the scene just before 9:30pm Friday night, September 18th, upon reports of the car/train crash in Hagar Township.
Railroad crossing lights were flashing, the crossing arms were down, and the train was sounding its horn as it approached the crossing, but an unidentified driver got hung up, stuck on the tracks while trying to circumvent the crossing, driving off the road to get around it. When he or she failed to get the Cadillac loose, they abandoned it, and it was hit by the Amtrak train.
The Sheriff’s Department says that witnesses saw the driver flee from the scene after the car was hit, and say that the car underwent considerable damage, and the train also sustained some damage. They also report that nobody on the train was injured in the collision which remains under investigation.
The sheriff’s department was assisted at the scene by the Michigan State Police, the Amtrak Police Department and CSX Railroad maintenance personnel.