Mom and 3 Children Killed after Train Collides with Car in Vandalia

Train accidents pose a significant threat to those who call Chicago home or to those who work in the city. Even if you do not travel by train, you may not be safe as many train collisions involve vehicles other than trains, like those that occur between a train and a passenger car. With numerous train lines and street-level train track crossings in Chicago, it can be a dangerous place to drive if a train is in the area.

When a train collision involves a smaller vehicle, like a car, truck, or van, those involved are likely to sustain injuries or to lose their lives because of the disadvantage in size highlighted by an impact. Cars are not constructed to withstand an impact of a train and often cars crumple in response when a crash occurs, potentially trapping victims inside the passenger compartment. While nothing can erase the damage done by these collisions, victims of crashes may be entitled to seek relief for their losses if they have been hurt. If a victim loses his or her life, the right to seek relief may belong to the victim’s surviving family members and it is the right of the victims to seek compensation, meaning an at-fault company cannot prevent a recovery. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer can help you understand your options for relief if a Chicago-area train accident has affected your life.

A tragic accident occurred on Thursday evening between a train and a family in a vehicle as that family headed to a Halloween parade, according to officials in Vandalia. Police believe that a 35-year-old mother was behind the wheel of her vehicle with her four children inside when she approached a train crossing near a parade route. The train struck the vehicle on the passenger side, killing the 35-year-old mom, an 18-year-old daughter, a 13-year-old son, and a 10-year-old daughter. The three children were killed at the scene while their mother survived for some time before succumbing to her injuries.

Emergency crews responded to the scene and evaluated all victims. In addition to the 35-year-old mother, a 9-year-old son was alive but in serious condition and was transported via air ambulance to a nearby hospital. The nature and extent of the boy’s injuries are not clear at this time nor is it known whether he will survive.

The train involved in the crash reportedly was 105 cars long and no one on board is believed to have been hurt. Multiple agencies are investigating this incident and trying to determine what led the vehicle and the train to be at the crossing at the same time, including whether negligence played a role or whether any other factors influenced the collision.



Train accidents in Chicago can cause significant devastation to victims, their families, and their loved ones. When a victim loses his or her life, the damage done will last for the remaining lives of all those who loved that person and no amount of relief will be adequate to eliminate this pain and suffering.

The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. have helped numerous victims of train crashes and their families and if you have been affected by a collision, we want to help you as well. We offer a free case consultation to those who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have been injured, do not suffer in silence. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us help you seek the relief you deserve.

Prior Blog Entry:

Illinois has 5th Most Bicycle-Related Deaths in the Country, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published October 28, 2014.


Mom, 3 kids killed in crash heading to Halloween parade, Chicago Tribune, published October 31, 2014.

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