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11-year-old Barrington boy hit by train expected to survive

Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013 8:09 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, March 16, 2013 11:57 p.m. CDT

BARRINGTON – The 11-year-old Barrington boy who was struck by a Metra train Friday evening is expected to survive despite losing a foot and facing a long recovery, a Barrington District 220 spokesman said Saturday.

The boy was out of critical condition Saturday at Lutheran General Hospital after he tried to cross the Metra train tracks near Hough Street and Lake Cook Road shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, said Jeff Arnett, chief communications officer for District 220.

Police told district officials that the boy had his view obstructed by another train that he let pass before trying to cross the tracks. He was then struck by a second Metra train headed to Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago on the opposite track, Arnett said.

“He is a remarkably fortunate young man given the extent of the injuries that occur from train accidents like this,” Arnett said. “The doctors have told him he is very lucky to be alive.”

The boy is a fifth-grader at the district’s Hough Street Elementary School. Officials have been in contact with the boy’s family and the Barrington police since the accident.

The boy was stable Saturday evening and carrying on conversations with doctors and family members, Arnett said. The collision left the boy without a foot and possibly some toes on the other foot, Arnett said.

Doctors were planning to tell the boy about losing his foot Monday, fearing that an earlier annoucement could have shocked the recovering fifth grader and caused him to slip into critical condition again, Arnett said.

The train accident happened after the boy was either coming to or leaving the Celtic Fest in downtown Barrington. Arnett was unsure whether the Barrington child was alone at the time, but definitely said he was not with his family.

Nearby bystanders and police immediately rushed to the tracks to help the boy until paramedics arrived.

Barrington police and firefighters responded to the scene at 6:09 p.m. Barrington police are investigating the accident, but officials Saturday were not releasing more details about the incident.

Metra trains were stopped in both directions, causing delays of more than an hour on the Northwest Line between Chicago and Harvard.

Hough Principal Stephen McWilliams will be in contact with the boy’s family throughout the weekend, Arnett said. Anybody interested in helping the family can message officials through the Hough Street School Facebook page, he said.

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