By Correne Martin
A La Crosse driver and her passenger safely escaped her vehicle before it was struck by a train in Prairie du Chien Wednesday evening, Jan. 21, according to the Prairie du Chien Police Department.
At 5:37 p.m., Officer Tony Berg responded to the East Blackhawk Avenue intersection with the railroad tracks to find a 1999 Honda Civic that had been struck by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train. The driver, Kathryn Banasik, 65, and her male passenger had exited the vehicle prior to the collision.
According to the Prairie du Chien Police Department, Banasik was driving eastbound on Blackhawk Avenue when she realized she was operating her car without headlights. She attempted to pull to the side of the roadway to turn on the lights but mistakenly drove off the road’s surface onto the tracks. A northbound BNSF train then hit the vehicle, causing minimal damage to the driver’s side front end.