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Illinois teenager struck, killed in tragic train accident

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On behalf of Strom & Associates, Ltd. posted in Mass Transit Accidents on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

An Illinois teen is dead after reportedly being struck by a train while walking to school. The victim, age 17, was attempting to cross the train track in the Old Norwood Park neighborhood when the accident occurred. The teen was struck by a Union Pacific Northwest train at about 6:50 a.m. on March 7, according to officers. It appears that the teen may have been wearing earphones, so he may not have heard the oncoming train.

An initial investigation showed that the gates preventing pedestrian and vehicle access to the tracks had been activated at the time of the fatal mass transit accident. That crossing is often used by students attempting to access Taft High School, as it is about three blocks from the campus. Metra and Union Pacific police continued the investigation by taking measurements, though much remains unknown about the incident.
Operators say they are not sure how fast the train was moving when it struck the victim. Further, it is not clear whether the train engineer activated the horn. One nearby resident whose home overlooks the railroad crossing says the intersection is inherently dangerous. He said he often sees cars failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians near the school. It is not clear whether this additional danger played a role in the crash.
This is the second such incident in just the past three years. In late 2010, another 17-year-old male Taft student suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a train at an intersection near the most recent crash site. The intersection may be poorly designed and unsafe for pedestrians. Relatives of victims who have perished in public transit accidents such as this one may benefit from consulting an Illinois attorney. These professionals may be able to identify responsible parties who should be held accountable for their role in a fatal accident.
Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Teen dies after hit by Metra train near Taft High School” Mitch Smith, Mar. 07, 2014

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