1 dead, another injured when freight train strikes car in Melrose Park

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MELROSE PARK (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A woman was killed and a man was injured when a freight train struck their vehicle early Friday in west suburban Melrose Park.

The Union Pacific freight train struck the car shortly before 2 a.m. near North 19th Avenue and Main Street, according to Union Pacific spokeswoman Kristen South.

Witnesses said the car was traveling on 19th and drove around the crossing gates when it was struck on the passenger side, said Maywood Fire Department Chief Craig Bronaugh. The car was pushed four blocks, to South 15th and Railroad avenues, where the train was able to come to a stop.

The woman sitting in the passenger seat, identified as 21-year-old Jocelyn Morales, was unresponsive and had to be extricated from the vehicle, which took at least 40 minutes, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Morales, who lived in Bellwood, was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.

The man driving the car was pulled from the vehicle by a police officer who arrived first at the scene, Bronaugh said. He was conscious when he was also taken to Loyola University Medical Center, but his condition was not known.

Neither the train’s engineer nor the conductor were injured in the crash, South said.