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Gravel Truck Driver Loses Life Due to Impatience

Updated on May 13, 2011

This is an unfortunate example of the possible consequence when disregard for one’s safety and the safety of others is put into play.

An impatient gravel truck driver lost his life during a collision with a Metra’s Union Pacific Northwest train in Chicago early this Friday morning, due to his driving around a downed crossing gate. Is there any way that cities can enforce this safety measure without having to do it by means of someone’s death? Should they make it virtually impossible to get around the crossing gate without hindering the path of the train? Or are we just stuck having lives lost and damaged, taxpayers’ money wasted, and news time spent on something that could have been easily avoidable.

Police officials confirmed that the gates were down, a no-left turnwarning signwas visible, lights were flashing, and the deceased still attempted to beat the train by driving into the oncoming lane to maneuver around the gates. What if there was a vehicle in the other lane? The gravel truck driver would lose his life, possibly the other vehicle’s passenger life, and cause even greater damage. Does it take a life to be lost to help others understand the dangers of not adhering to cautions and restrictions? With all the warnings and cautions given, this event could have been avoided if he would have just stopped.

Thedump truck driverwas a 59-year-oldProspect Heightsdriver. Because of his impatient, his collision with the Metra train caused it to derail (but fortunately did not tip over). After the impact, the train dragged the truck another 200 feet, throwing the gravel driver from his truck, causing debris to fly about, and the truck to ignite into flames. Eyewitnesses reported that there was a ‘horrific noise and a large burst of flames from under the train’. The main cause of injures was the fire ball that traveled through the cabin of the first car. Ten passengers suffered minor injuries and twenty-nine passengers were sent to the hospital. The train service was shut down and a Metra representative was hopeful that is will resume services by the end of the day.

Carelessnessnot only involves the person doing the careless act, but can also involuntarily involve others around them and this is a drastic and unfortunate example. Because of one individual’s carelessness there are passengers injured, commuters dependent on the train service are stranded, taxpayers will have to cover the services and damages incurred by the city, and most importantly - a life is lost.


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    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very sad how one bad decision can kill on an instant. I am seeing this more and more. especially with drivers distracted from texting. I hope that people wake up and slow down!