Police: Motorist Drove Around Crossing Gates In Fatal Crash
Palatine Police said that video of a Dec. 27 fatal crash shows that the railroad crossing on Brockway Street functioned correctly.
Palatine resident Michael 'Bogie' Levgard drove around down crossing gates before being hit by a Metra express train Dec. 27, according to video of the crash.
Palatine police reviewed the video with representatives from the UP Northwest railroad Wednesday, Jan. 4.
"The gates went down," Palatine Police Cmdr. Craig Lesselyoung said. "He went around them and was struck. They continued to function correctly even after the crash."
Lesselyoung said the car was in motion when it was hit and did not stop on the tracks after going around the gates.
Levgard, 64, was a retired postal worker. The crash happened at 7:34 a.m. as Levgard headed north on Brockway Street. Levgard frequented Lamplighter Inn, 60 N. Bothwell St., but had not been at the restaurant and bar on the day of the crash.
Lesselyoung said police wanted to ensure that the gates and crossing had functioned properly. Several residents had asked about whether the gates had possibly malfunctioned.
At the time of the crash a Metra train was stopped at the Palatine station west of where the crash occurred. An express train traveling on another track and traveling between 50 mph and 75 mph struck Levgard's 1999 green Mercury Sable.
One possibility is that Levgard saw the train sitting at the station, assumed the crossing gates were down for that reason, and figured it was safe to go.
The car was dragged more than 1,000 feet before being dumped off the track near Palatine Road.