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Questions remain after DuPage pedestrian fatally struck by train

A recent evening commute in the Chicago area took an unexpected, tragic twist as a Metra train collided with a 30-year-old pedestrian crossing the tracks in Westmont. Emergency responders arrived at the scene of the mass transit accident, but weren't able to resuscitate the Illinois man.

In the wake of the accident, railroad officials are cooperating with DuPage County law enforcement agencies to conduct an investigation. Police are uncertain why the man was at the grade crossing that evening. The hope is that the inquiry will turn up details for the victim's family, who were still being located at the time of initial reports.

Subsequent commuter trains faced delays, but there apparently weren't any commuters aboard the train involved in the accident. In fact, the train crew and an operator were the only individuals on the train.

Much like any motorist on the road, the companies or entities responsible for operating mass transit trains or busses are obligated to protect the safety of passengers, other drivers and pedestrians. In fact, the standards for safety and liability for these parties are different than an individual motorist involved in an accident, which could play a role in the ongoing investigation or potential legal proceedings.

As more details about the case emerge, the victim's family may be able to consider filing a wrongful death claim against those responsible for operating the train -- including the rail company. Certainly, nothing can undo the confusion and grief already felt by those impacted by a fatal accident, but a successful lawsuit can help grieving loved ones deal with the effects in order to begin the healing process.

Source: Lisle Patch, "Local Metra Commuters Delayed Hours After Man Killed by Train in Westmont," Joe O'Donnell, March 8, 2013

  • Sorting out the details of any fatal accident can be a confusing process. To learn more, please see our Chicago train accident page.
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