A man drove through a railroad crossing gate and was struck by a Metra train in Round Lake Park on Wednesday. The accident left the man and his seven-year-old daughter dead. The gate had been repaired hours earlier, and there is no indication it was malfunctioning at the time of the accident, according to police.
7-year-old Alyssa Carranza died from a broken neck as she was thrown from the vehicle and struck a post, according to the Lake County coroner’s office. Her body was not found immediately, but was discovered within the hour by investigators in the snow in a ditch nearby.
The driver, Francisco Carranza, 36, died of head trauma sustained in the accident. Carranza was driving a Range Rover on Illinois Highway 134 when the vehicle drove in front of an oncoming train just before 6 pm. The train was traveling at nearly 60 mph and the engineer could not stop in time, according to a Metra spokeswoman.
The Range Rover was pushed into another SUV carrying a mother and children, including an infant, but no other injuries were reported. According to officials, the train sustained $200,000 in damage and was stuck on the tracks for almost 3 hours while police investigated. Passengers were transferred to a bus. On Thursday, officials reported that Carranza had alcohol in his system.