A car was totaled when it was hit a coal train in Hinsdale Saturday night after the driver accidentally turned onto the tracks at the Garfield Street crossing around 10 p.m., according to the and the .
The driver was able to get out of the car, a Nissan Sentra, before the collision occurred, Hinsdale deputy police chief Mark Wodka said, so there were no injuries or hospital transports but the train tracks were shut down for a short period of time.
The driver, Guadalupe Ortega, 64, of the 500 block of Laurel Street, Elgin, was charged with trespassing to railroad property. There was no indication that alcohol or any other intoxicants were involved.
The car was turning onto northbound Garfield from Chicago Avenue. Ortega took the turn too far, Wodka said, and ended up going eastbound on the tracks.
The car traveled 15 or 20 feet on the tracks before the driver realized he wasn't on the road. When he tried to go in reverse, the car became stuck, at which point the driver and passengers abandoned it and notified authorities.
Approximatley two minutes after the car was abandoned, Wodka said, the eastbound train came through, hit the car, and pushed it for approximately 300 feet before coming to a stop.
"There was not enough time to remove his vehicle or halt the train," Wodka said.
Hinsdale firefighter and fire department spokesman Steve Tullis said incidents like this happen more than people might think.
"It happens at least once a year in this town," he said.
The Hinsdale Police Department and the Hinsdale Fire Department were the only responders to the incident, though they alerted nearby departments about the train delays.
The gas tank was punctured on the vehicle during the accident. Tullis said cleaning up the accident probably took about 45 minutes.
Editor's note: This article previously said that there were passengers in the vehicle, which Wodka said was not the case. It also incorrectly said that the driver was not cited with any infractions and that he was going from Garfield to Chicago Avenue. Patch apologizes for these inaccuracies.