Two train fatalities under investigation
Two fatalities in separate incidents along Metra’s Union Pacific Northwest line caused significant delays for commuters over the weekend.
As of Sunday evening, the identities of two deceased males were not being released. Officials suspect suicide, but the investigations are ongoing.
At 6:55 a.m. Saturday, train No. 702 struck a pedestrian while heading to Woodstock’s Metra station. The train was carrying about 40 passengers after it left Harvard. Some were delayed for about two hours, Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said.
Reile said Metra made arrangements for a private bus to transport the passengers to the Crystal Lake station. The next train departing from Harvard, train No. 704, left 80 minutes behind schedule because of the incident, Reile said.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation of Saturday’s fatality. The office is expected to release details today, Sgt. Eric Ellis said.
On Sunday, Metra officials reported another pedestrian fatality involving train No. 714 at the Route 14 and Cuba Road train crossing.
“[The incident] affected every train on the line,” Reile said.
Train No. 714 was due to arrive at the Barrington station at 11:18 a.m, but the fatality occurred shortly after the train departed from the Fox River Grove station, Reile said. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office received the call at 11:20 a.m., said Sgt. Anthony Parisi.
“Investigators are working with the coroner’s office on identifying the person,” Parisi said.
Reile said passengers aboard Sunday’s train experienced “significant delays” because they were stuck in the train for at least two hours.
Eventually, another inbound train picked up the stranded passengers.
The incident on the Union Pacific line was not near a Metra station. Because of safety concerns, Metra officials would not let passengers off the train.
“We can’t just let them off,” Reile said. “It’s possible that a freight could be in the area, even though the tracks are shut down.”
Train No. 714 also suffered damage to its braking system, keeping it from moving even if it was allowed to proceed, Reile said.
Metra runs fewer trains on the weekends, with Sundays having the least train service.
“Unfortunately on Sundays, trains run every two hours,” Reile said, “so that compounds the delay.”