Metro-East News

Man arrested for DUI after train strikes car near Columbia

A man who may have mistaken Union Pacific Railroad tracks for a road Wednesday night was arrested for driving under the influence after a northbound train collided with the car the man was driving.

According to Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis, the train crew contacted railroad police around 10 p.m. after the train struck a car that was facing south on the tracks between Bottom Road and DD Road near Columbia. Davis said the car caught fire on impact but crew members could not immediately locate the driver. First responders later located the driver, who was arrested.

Union Pacific reports do not identify the driver and Monroe County Sheriff’s Department officials couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday afternoon. The scene was cleared by midnight, Davis said.

The collision occurred on tracks that run north-south between the Mississippi River and Bluff Road in a rural area just south of the Interstate 255 interchange at Illinois 3. The freight train was en route from Laredo, Texas, to Chicago.

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