VERONA — A freight train traveling west through Grundy County collided Tuesday with a vehicle at Gonnam and Burkhart roads, totalling the Jeep and halting railroad traffic for more than two hours.
The driver reversed the vehicle in enough time to avoid being seriously injured, Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan said.
"They came up to the crossing, didn't look and started to cross the tracks when they saw the train," Callahan said. "They were able to throw it in reverse and back up, which probably saved their lives."
The driver, Bradley J. Govindasamy, 26, of Aurora, was cited for failure to reduce speed at a railroad crossing.
The front end of the vehicle was heavily damaged, but the driver, passenger and train conductor left the scene with no injuries, Callahan said.
The crossing at Gonnam and Burkhart roads is not marked by warning lights or barricades, but there is signage cautioning drivers to yield to oncoming trains.
Emergency crews responded to the scene about 2 p.m. and didn't have the area cleared until about 4:30 p.m.
A train coming from the opposite direction had to be halted as well until the accident scene was cleared, Callahan said.