UPDATE: Witnesses Tried to Warn Driver Before Train Struck Car

Samira Baker, 19, of Mokena, died after a Metra train struck her car Wednesday night, at a crossing at 191st Street just west of LaGrange Road. Witnesses blared horns as the train approached and the engineer tried to brake.

One woman was killed Wednesday night when a Metra train struck her car at a crossing in Mokena. 

Samira J. Baker, 19, of the 19200 block of Thornham Drive, died after her car was struck by a train inbound from Joliet around 9:45 p.m. at a crossing near 191st and LaGrange Road, according to Metra spokesperson Meg Reile. 

Initial findings indicate the car was inside the crossing gates as the train approached. The engineer spotted the 1999 four-door Nissan and attempted to brake, throwing the engine into "emergency" mode, according to Reile. Gates were down and warning lights were flashing, the engineer recounted.

Witnesses reported that the car came to rest inside the gates—but clear of the tracks—before the gates were lowered. The car then slowly began rolling forward, onto the tracks. Witnesses told police they blared their horns in an attempt to warn the driver, as the train barreled toward the car at a reported 70 mph. But to no avail. The car was struck as it reached the second track. 

Baker was alone in the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:05 a.m., according to the Will County Coroner's office. The Will County Sheriff's office has taken over the investigation. 

Twenty passengers were aboard the train. They were transferred to the next train, which was delayed for about an hour.

Patch is working on further details. Check back for more. 

Cindy June 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM
I,ve had those gates come down on my hood and windshield before..they come down too fast..had to slam on the brakes so hard. My husband has also had an issue with them as well. The timer is def off or the sensor needs to have the gates come down slower. So sad to have heard about this horrible crash because of it. Our thoughts are with the family.
tink June 18, 2012 at 08:00 PM
R.I.P Samira my sister worked with her her brothers names are tarek and moe.
tink June 18, 2012 at 08:01 PM
her brothers names are tarek and moe right?
Bob Lynch June 19, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Thanks to Samira's classmates for the memorable candlelight vigil last night and to Dr Tingley at LWE for opening up the football field for the ceremony. I know that my daughter and many of her friends have taken this tragedy hard and I can only imagine how hard it has been for her family. Unfortunately it takes events like this to bring communities together but I commend all who were there reminding everyone to remember to say the phrase "I love you" as you never know when the time will come that you will not be able to say it to one another. While Samira is no longer with us we all know that she is watching over her family, friends and classmates. Bob Lynch
Brittany June 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM
My heart goes out to this family. This family has dealt with a lot of tragedy and this was not easy for anybody. I know that Samira is looking over all of her friends and family and making sure we are all safe. Samira was a sweet young girl with a lot of potential. I hope that her family remembers to celebrate her life while mourning her death. Life is short, and it is always made evident when young lives are taken from us. There will never be an answer as to why it happened, but we all know that everything happens for a reason. There is nothing more important than life, and to treasure the peopel that are in it because we could never know when they will get taken from us. Rest in Paradise Samira <3


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