Update: Construction Confuses Train Collision Victim

Lake Forest man survives with minor injuries after turning onto rebuilt part of roadway.

(Update, 11 a.m. Wednesday) A Lake Forest man partially confused by construction at the intersection of Half Day and Waukegan Roads was the victim who escaped a collision with a northbound Metra Train Tuesday with minor injuries, according to the Lake County News-Sun .

Michael Bungert, 57, was driving his 2010 GMC Terrain southbound on Waukegan Road at approximately 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and attempted to make a right turn onto westbound Half Day Road, according to the News-Sun. The intersection is under heavy construction.

Bungert told Bannockburn police he turned in between two barrels where there was space for a car to proceed through, even though there was a solid white line. Once onto the newly cemented Half Day Road, Bungert began to drive over the Metra Milwaukee North Line railroad tracks and realized the cars already there were parked and belonged to construction workers.

Bungert tried to back up, but then the railroad's warning bells began to ring. He stopped, but with the Metra train in sight coming at him, he stomped on the accelerator. The rear of his vehicle was clipped, according to the article.

Bannockburn Police gave Bungert two tickets. He was transported to Highland Park Hospital where he was treated and released for minor injuries afar all of the vehicle’s air bags deployed.

(Earlier, Tuesday at 11 a.m.)   near the intersection of Waukegan and Half Day Roads at approximately 7:30 a.m. today, according a Metra spokesperson and witnesses on the scene.

Metra could not confirm the identity of the driver, who was the only person in the car, according to Metra spokesperson Tom Miller.

“One person was hospitalized with minor injuries,” Miller said. He did not know the person’s name or hometown.

The vehicle sustained more significant damage. “It looked pretty bad,” a witness who works in the area said. “I saw them take the car away.” He said there was an ambulance, police and fire vehicles.

The initial call came to the , which receives calls for Bannockburn, according to a spokesperson for the department. After Bannockburn Police arrived, the matter was turned over to Metra Police.

In addition to the vehicle damage and minor injuries, the train was stopped for approximately 40 minutes during the investigation, according to Miller. “Several trains were delayed for up to 40 minutes in both directions,” he said.

By 8:40 the scene was clear according to a member of the construction crew which is a part of the . “We got here at 8:40 and it was all cleared up,” he said.

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Tony Horwitz May 23, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Gotta say....the indications for where to turn (especially a left from 22 onto Waukegan in either direction) are not entirely clear. A larger turn (here) sign might help. Hopefully no other incidents will occur before that intersection can be put completely back together. I would hope the intersection is a priority over some of the other parts of the roadway.
Joe Nelson May 23, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Of course the Bannockburn Police still gave him 2 tickets. While I love Bannockburn and the Officers are very nice as people, they give tickets for everything and have the stupidest laws ever. It is pretty clear that he should not have been given any tickets.
kurt swanson May 24, 2012 at 01:39 AM
State roads both of them. Come on two years to finish the project. I'd have the IDOT's a$$ for this.
pete c May 24, 2012 at 03:46 AM
The route 22 construction zone is a "guess which way to proceed" zone. If I was over 60 years old, I would totally be confused in multiple areas of the construction and at risk of collision. One night, I had a car coming head on at 50 mph in my lane and I had to slam on the brakes and honk in order to get the car to swerve. I am thankful to have the improvements but does someone have to die for this? There have been more than a few close calls.
Tony Horwitz May 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Major paving today!!!!Stay away!!!
Mark Myers May 24, 2012 at 11:33 AM
They have been milking this project for way too long. Rome wasn't built in a day but it was built faster than that intersection!
DeerfieldResident May 24, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I'm shocked there haven't been more accidents. The traffic patterns are not clearly marked and if you're turning left off of Waukegan in either direction, the sight lines are impossible. Hope they wrap this up soon before someone gets really hurt.
RonnieTheLimoDriver May 24, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Now that was a funny comment. I wish there was a way to give you a thumbs up.
Tom May 24, 2012 at 08:34 PM
This project is so underfunded. This never would have happened if we had more people in reflective construction vests and hard hats standing, pointing at... I don't know what and smoking cigarettes. On any given day, it's a crap shoot for how you get into Shell, shopping center, Beason's or left/right. Two accidents in 2 days and an almost head on - statistically impossible that it was the driver's fault.
barry May 24, 2012 at 09:20 PM
With all the fatalities around LAKE FOREST involving pedestrians and cars with TRAINS....when is there going to be the appropriate oversight in place?
AliceCameron May 24, 2012 at 09:45 PM
That intersection is a construction nightmare but isn't it just common sense to never get stuck on train tracks? Anyone from this area should know you wait BEFORE THE WHITE LINE at the tracks heading in that direction...always. And he's 57 not 100. Glad the man made it out alight but caution is always the rule with train tracks.
AliceCameron May 24, 2012 at 09:45 PM
barry May 24, 2012 at 10:50 PM
ILLINOIS has the most railroad crossing fatalities in the U.S....but I think everyone will agree Illinoisans are no less careless than those of other states, therefore it must be other factors which are known to the rail industry and transportation profesionals.....and they must be corrected.
OB1254 May 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM
This area is A NIGHTMARE!!!!! I saw a man headed East bound on 22 make a right turn on to the rail road tracks recently(he though ti was Waukegan Rd)!!! It was dusk and hard to make out the traffic pattern I was beeping. Thank G-d he realized and backed out quickly & SAFELY! Could have been a disaster!!!
Aviva May 25, 2012 at 04:17 AM
After using the northbound lane to go south on Waukegan from Half Day Rd for MONTHS, I almost had a head on collision when there was no sign announcing that the southbound lanes had reopened. It is a miracle the man walked away unharmed. Just finish already....


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