Woman hurt after Amtrak hits vehicle near Harlem Ave. - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Woman hurt after Amtrak hits vehicle near Harlem Ave.

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RIVERSIDE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A woman whose car became caught in traffic between railroad crossing gates narrowly escaped serious injury Thursday when other drivers made room for her to back out of the path of an oncoming train.

"If it had been maybe another 10 to 12 feet forward, it would have hit the driver's side of her vehicle and we would be investigating a fatality," Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said of the Thursday crash at Harlem Avenue.

A woman was driving a Volvo station wagon southbound on Harlem Avenue when she became caught in traffic on the tracks, Weitzel said.

As the Amtrak train approached, she was unable to go forward out of its path, he said. But drivers behind her saw the car's back-up lights, and made room for her to reverse.

"She backed up a little bit which is what saved her life," Weitzel said.

The outbound train, which was not scheduled to stop at the station, clipped the front of the car, spinning it around, he said.

The woman was conscious and alert, and speaking coherently with paramedics who took her to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Weitzel said. Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

A dog in the vehicle was taken to a local vet, he said.

None of the 93 people aboard the California Zephyr were injured, but the train is delayed as crews continue to investigate, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.

The Amtrak route operates daily between Chicago and San Francisco, he said.

The crash temporarily halted Metra BNSF trains between Chicago and Aurora, which also share the same tracks.

Trains are on the move again but running 20 to 85 minutes late, and limited to a single track at reduced speeds through the crash site, Metra said.

Police have not yet determined whether to issue citations, and hope to review on-board video footage from the train, Weitzel said.

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