UPDATE: No tickets issued after truck runs into Station Theatre

UPDATE: No tickets issued after truck runs into Station Theatre

UPDATE, 12:53 p.m. Wednesday:

URBANA — Police said the driver of a pickup truck that hit the Station Theatre on Tuesday night will not be ticketed.

Lt. Rich Surles said the driver is a 69-year-old Champaign man whose truck had become stuck on the railroad tracks, and when the wheels got traction, it was "launched" into the nearly 100-year-old building.

Surles said since the man was not impaired and the crash happened on private property, no tickets will be issued.

A representative for the theater could not be reached Wednesday.

— Tim Ditman


Original story, published 9:15 p.m. Tuesday:

URBANA — The artistic director of the Station Theatre said a structural engineer will be sent to the building after a truck crashed into the east side of the facility on Tuesday evening.

"We are all sick over our poor little building," said Rick Orr. "It is nearly 100 years old and sustained some serious damage."

No productions were interrupted since the community theater is between shows.

"Our next show, 'Silent Sky,' is still in rehearsals," Orr said Tuesday night.

"Silent Sky," directed by Katie Burke, is scheduled to open Feb. 15.

Orr said the truck came from the parking lot next door, jumped two sets of tracks and knocked down some light fixtures before crashing into the side of the building.

"The truck can't be moved until a structural engineer looks at it," Orr said. "There is some concern the entire wall could fall."

Orr said the truck smashed into the theater's lower dressing room, which he said used to be a coal-delivery location when the building was a railroad station.

Information about the driver of the truck was not available Tuesday night.

The building was constructed in 1923 as a passenger station for the Big Four Railroad. It was the third station built for the line in Urbana and the second one built on the site.

Travelers boarding at Urbana could ride as far as Indianapolis to the east and Pekin to the west.

In the early 1970s, the former rail station was bought as the home for The Celebration Company to provide year-round theater productions.

— Tim Mitchell

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Khristine wrote on February 07, 2018 at 4:02 pm
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The question begs answering: just how, pray tell, do you get yourself stuck on the railroad tracks when there is a railway crossing merely 30 or so feet away? I guess stupid doesn’t count as impairment.