Train commuters in Des Plaines and elsewhere were delayed about an hour during the Tuesday afternoon rush hour due to an unusual auto accident in Park Ridge.
Two cars crashed on the street and the force of the crash hurtled one of them up an embankment slope onto the railroad tracks. Neither of the cars was hit by a train.
The accident happened on Cumberland Street about a half-block north of Touhy, where Cumberland ends and drivers must turn westbound onto Cedar Street.
Each car was carrying only the driver, said Park Ridge Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Sorensen, and both drivers were taken to the hospital.
Thousands of commuters were delayed because the accident stopped all trains in both directions on the Union Pacific Northwest Line, from Chicago to Harvard/McHenry, for about an hour.
The accident happened at about 3:54 p.m., and a northwest-bound Metra train had to wait behind the accident scene as a crew from Union Pacific Railroad used heavy machinery to remove the heavily-damaged auto from the railroad tracks (see video).
Sorenson said a beige four-door Chevrolet sedan was coming north on Cumberland and the other vehicle, a gray four-door sedan, was coming east on Cedar when the two crashed.
The impact sent the beige sedan up the embankment, a grass-covered hill that slopes about 10 feet up from the street, and onto the railroad tracks.
The UP crew used an end loader to turn the stranded car around so that it faced Cumberland Street, then let it roll down the slope of the embankment. They removed the car at about 4:45 p.m., checked the railroad ties for damage and allowed trains to resume running shortly after that.