March 20, 2013

Fourth Pedestrian Killed by Metra in Six Days

by Levin & Perconti

An Illinois man was killed when he was crossing the Metra track in Downer’s Grove yesterday morning. He was struck by an inbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train and killed instantly. This news is even more upsetting because this is the fourth time a Metra train has struck a pedestrian since Thursday, three of which resulted in the pedestrian dying. This means that in six days, four people were struck by Metra trains in Illinois. Another one of the fatalities during this six day period occurred when another train on the same train line struck a pedestrian.

According to Chicago CBS Local, a transportation expert that was asked about the likelihood of this number of accidents in such a short time, said that in all of his years working in the industry he has never seen this many pedestrian train related accidents in this short of a time period. However, Illinois is one of the states with a high rate of trespassing on train track fatalities, as it ranks sixth in the nation.

One of the problems is that pedestrians continue to attempt to cross the tracks when they are not allowed and when it is certainly not safe to cross. However, as long as pedestrians keep illegally crossing the train tracks, these accidents are going to continue to occur unless something more is done. Ideas for what could be done by the Metra to help prevent these types of accidents from continuing are measures such as having security guards near the crossings where frequent accidents have been occurring during the peak travel times, sound signals to alert pedestrians when a train is near (in addition to sound signals at the stops themselves) and slower train passage at these areas where the accidents have been occurring. While the changes may not need to be implemented all over the state, it is likely that these safety measures would be useful in areas where these accidents are frequently occurring.

Our Illinois personal injury attorneys remind all pedestrians to never cross train tracks at a point where it is not marked as a crossing area. Even if you do not see or hear a train nearby where you are or even if you think that you can get past before the train gets to where you are, please do not take the chance! If your loved one was the victim of a train accident and you feel that the train company may have been responsible for the accident, please contact our Illinois train accident attorneys today to discuss what legal options and remedies may be available to you and your family.