Tragic turn of events in car vs. train collision

UPDATED: January 24 at 3:16 p.m.

Unfortunately KHQA was notified that 79-year-old Carolyn Higgins of La Prairie died at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning at Blessing Hospital.

Mrs. Higgins was the driver of the car involved in the car vs. train collision on January 19.

We will bring you more details as soon as we receive them.


One person is dead after the car versus train accident we told you about Wednesday.

The passenger, Donald Higgins, died Thursday afternoon at Blessing Hospital from his injuries.

Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta will handle the arrangements.

The driver of the car, Carolyn Higgins is still listed in serious condition.

The accident happened just north of Golden where the railroad crosses with N 2600 Ave.

At this crossing there are only lights and no gates.

At the next intersection south, there are lights and gates.

There are different criteria that go into determining what crossing should have gates and which ones don't need them.

"We look at things like how many trains cross those tracks there, how many vehicles in a day cross the tracks, what is the incident history, what types of vehicles cross the tracks," said Chip Pew with the Illinois Commerce Commission

Trains go faster in rural areas, than if they were approaching a city.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says there are speed limits on the railroads but they're set by the owner of the track, which is BNSF.

"The maximum authorized speed is 79 miles an hour, which is my guess is what Amtrak would generally travel through there," said Pew.

We took a radar gun out to the crossing to see how fast the Amtrak goes through and clocked the train at 71 miles per hour.

"It's always good to err on the side of caution and look both ways probably even if the lights aren't flashing just to make sure, because those may be defective," said Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer.

Illinois has the second highest number of public railroad crossings at 8,000 -- second only to Texas.