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The Times

MICHIGAN CITY — Two women were taken to a hospital early Thursday after their SUV slid into a utility pole and careened into the path of a westbound South Shore Line commuter train, officials said.

The crash about 4:50 a.m. damaged and delayed westbound Train 104 and caused delays on another westbound train and one eastbound train, said John Parsons, spokesman for the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

The driver of a 2005 Jeep Liberty spun out while trying to negotiate a curve while heading east on 11th Street toward Cedar Street, said Kevin Urbanczyk, chief of operations for Michigan City police.

"It was snowing, and the road conditions were icy at the time of the crash," he said.

The right front side of the Jeep hit a NIPSCO pole at the intersection of East 11th Street and Cedar Street before spinning back onto the road and into the path of the train, which runs down the middle of East 11th Street, police said.

The train, which was moving slowly, hit the Jeep. The Jeep's 30-year-old driver and 28-year-old passenger, both of Michigan City, were taken to Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital for complaints of pain to the head and neck, police said.

No injuries were reported among the four passengers and four employees on the South Shore train, which consisted of six cars, police said. 

The Jeep was totaled and towed from the scene. The NIPSCO pole was damaged but did not need to be replaced, police said.

The front of Train 104 was damaged in the crash, and it had to be returned to a maintenance facility at Carroll Avenue, Parsons said. After repairs were made, Train 104 continued west about an hour behind schedule. The crash also delayed westbound Train 6 by about a half hour, he said.

Train 104 arrived late to Chicago and headed back east as Train 205, which also was delayed.

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Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.