Train-car accident snarls Ottawa traffic

train accident.jpg

Steve Stout


Noon-hour traffic was backed up on Columbus Street (Route 23) and other north-south streets through the center of Ottawa following a car-train accident on La Salle Street which stopped the train for about 45 minutes Tuesday morning. Police said they received the first report at about 11:45 a.m. and sent officers to the scene to redirect snarled traffic. All blocked intersections along the Illinois Railway (formerly Illinois RailNet) tracks were reopened shortly before 12:30 p.m. Authorities said the driver in the accident, Kenneth Eike, 74, of Ottawa, escaped injury and received no citiations. Eike told police his sport-utility vehicle, a 2009 Toyota, slid into the moving train on the snow-impact pavement. The crossing at La Salle Street has flashing lights, but no warning gates.