A Chicago pedestrian died earlier this evening after they were struck by an Amtrak train that was traveling through the Old Irving Park neighborhood. The train was outbound from Chicago heading towards Milwaukee and was traveling close to eighty miles an hour at the time the train struck a pedestrian that was attempting to cross the railroad tracks. The victim became pinned underneath the train and the Chicago Fire Department was called to the scene but the person struck by the train had too severe of personal injuries and did not survive the hit.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the investigation of the incident was turned over to Chicago Metra police and the investigation is still underway at this time. The next outbound train scheduled to leave from downtown Chicago was delayed following this tragic train accident. None of the over 2000 passengers or crew that were traveling on the outbound train towards Milwaukee suffered any personal injuries.
This is a sad reminder of how dangerous it is to try to cross train tracks. at any time, in an area other than a crossing area Many people think they can get across the tracks quickly or that when they are trying to cross the tracks, it is a time they know that there will be no train coming, however this is often not the case. Oftentimes, it is difficult to see an oncoming train until right before it is near to the spot you are in and then it may be coming too fast to avoid the train. Also, trains often get delayed and may pass a particular area at a time that is different than when it usually goes by that particular area.
While some types of train accidents (like this one) can be entirely avoidable, unfortunately train and pedestrian accidents occur far more frequently than one might realize. According to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis there have already been over 379 total train accidents or incidents in Illinois in 2013 (as of May 31, 2013) and 18 fatalities (just in the State of Illinois). This number is significantly higher than the reported statistics for the same time period in 2012 in Illinois. While this high number does not only reflect pedestrian and train incidents, but accounts for all train accidents or incidents in Illinois, pedestrian’s being more aware and alert and not trying to cross the train tracks at any time other than at designated crossing areas at the appropriate times will definitely help to reduce the overall number of accidents and train related fatalities in the State of Illinois.