Elk River police have cited the driver who drove around lowered gate arms as two Northstar commuter trains approached, causing a collision that led to significant delays in the rail service on Tuesday night.
The crash occurred at about 5:15 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 10 and Jackson Avenue after a young woman drove around the flashing arms as a train en route to Minneapolis approached at between 55 and 60 mph.
The driver tried to turn within the intersection, but it collided with the train and was spun around before coming to rest in the path of a second train traveling north. The woman and two other young adults were able to escape from the car without injury before the second crash damaged the vehicle beyond repair.
Paramedics evaluated all the passengers and released them at the scene. No injuries occurred, and the driver was cited for failure to stop at a railroad crossing signal.
Metro Transit sent out buses to replace the trains following the crash, but all customers experienced significant delays. Even though the final train bound for Minneapolis departed on time, it was delayed on its route and arrived 40 minutes late.
St. Cloud Metro Bus also helped with the replacement bus service effort, and Metro Transit also sent buses to cover two additional scheduled train trips.
The trains involved in the crash were able to arrive at the Big Lake maintenance facility on their own; however, the extent of the damage is not yet known.