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1999 "City of New Orleans" Amtrak Crash - Bourbonnais, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member cldisme
N 41° 11.034 W 087° 51.187
16T E 428450 N 4559522
Quick Description: On March 15, 1999 in Bourbonnais, Illinois, the "City of New Orleans" Amtrak train collided with a truck trailer loaded with steel after the truck did not clear the crossing in a timely manner. Eleven people were killed and 122 injured as a result.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 8/24/2007 8:13:35 AM
Waymark Code: WM22F7
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Crystal Sound
Views: 231

Long Description:
On March 15, 1999 around 9:50 p.m., Amtrak Train #59, the City of New Orleans, southbound on the Illinois Central Railroad tracks, hit a semi truck loaded with steel after it did not fully complete the crossing. Eleven people were killed and 122 injured as a result.

Upon impact, both of the train's locomotives and 11 of the train's 14 passenger cars derailed; the derailed cars hit two of the 10 freight cars on a siding next to the mainline.

The National Transportation Safety Board's investigation [PDF file] placed the fault of the accident on the truck driver, John R. Stokes, and his failure to yield at the grade crossing. Stokes was sentenced September 21, 2004, to two years in prison for logbook and hours of service violations.

In January of 2006, the Village of Bourbonnais voted to close the at-grade crossing at McKnight Road, the site of the crash.

Currently, accessing McKnight Road from IL Route 50 is still possible but the crossing is quite clearly closed. In order to cross the tracks, vehicles must use St. George Road (E. 5000 Road) and then turn left on Belson Road.


The Village of Boubonnais dedicated a memorial to the crash victims at the one year anniversary of the crash.
Website address: [Web Link]

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