Coal City man killed in crash involving train in Wilmington

An Illinois man died after his truck was struck by a train Monday afternoon.

At about 1:54 p.m., Will County Sheriff's deputies responded to a fatal train versus pickup truck crash.

The incident occurred at Murphy and Cooper Roads in Wilmington Township.

According to initial reports, at about 1:20 p.m., a northbound BNSF freight train struck a GMC Sierra 2500 that was heading westbound when it was struck.

The truck came to rest upside down about 150 feet north of the crossing.

"It's one of those ones that you just shake your head and say ‘Why?’" said John Cairns who lives near the accident scene.

The crossing signal, signal bells and crossing gates were still operating after the incident occurred, authorities said.

"It's just so sad that someone would lose their life because of all these trains," said Terrie Cairns.

The train engineer was unharmed.


The driver of the truck was identified as a 64-year-old man from Coal City.

Authorities said the victim was ejected from his vehicle after being struck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other passengers or witnesses were located, authorities said. 

Initial reports also indicate that the man may have been stuck in a gravel area on the north side of the railroad crossing when he was struck, authorities said.

Ben Wilemon, External Corporate Communications Manager of BNSF Railway, released the following statement Monday:

"BNSF Railway can confirm that at approximately 1:30 CT a BNSF train struck a vehicle at Murphy Road near Wilmington, Illinois. There were no injuries to our train crew. The local Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the vehicle occupant was fatally injured. The incident is currently under investigation."