Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Why doesn’t Metra have wireless internet on its trains yet? Mostly because it would be enormously expensive and a technological challenge, too. But should they?
Should Metra get Wi-Fi? Even if it’s expensive and hard to implement and maintain? The commuter-rail network is considering the possibility, the Chicago Tribune and other news agencies report, but price and technology continue to be two major barriers, despite that a DePaul University report shows 48 percent of Metra riders use personal electronic devices during their commutes. According to the paper, it could cost over $70 million to install wireless internet on all 11 Metra lines over five years—though some of that could perhaps be recouped by paid plans or sponsorships—and there’s a fear that the technology might quickly become obsolete or go unused by customers who prefer other connectivity, like smart-phone hotspots or air-cards. "(…
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The March 7 train-on-pedestrian incident that killed Hickory Hills resident Eric Bennett near the Cass Avenue station has been ruled to be accidental in nature after the DuPage County Coroner's Office investigation.
The man who died after being struck by a Metra train near the Cass Avenue crossing in Westmont on March 7 did not commit suicide, DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said Wednesday. Jorgensen's office ruled in its report completed on April 20 that 31-year-old Eric Bennett, of Hickory Hills, did not intend to be hit by the eastbound commuter train that was carrying only an engineer and crew. But he did, according to witnesses the coroner spoke to, disobey down warning gates and had his head down before he was struck near the Westmont train station at around 5:46 p.m. that Thursday evening. READ: Male Pedestrian Dies After Being Struck by BNSF Metra Train in Westmont Jorgensen said the manner of death was "accidental," and the cause of …
Friday, April 12, 2013
The man died Thursday after he was struck by a train near the Stone Avenue station in La Grange, police said.
Updated, 2:45 p.m. The man who died Thursday after being struck by a freight train near the Stone Avenue train station in La Grange has been identified as a 22-year-old La Grange resident, Police Chief Michael Holub said in a statement Friday. Cook County Medical Examiner spokeswoman Mary Marik said that the young man died of multiple injuries. His death was ruled a suicide, she said. “Please keep his family in your thoughts as they cope with their loss and continue to notify all of their immediate family members,” Holub said in his statement. This is the fourth fatal incident along the BNSF tracks since March 7. On Thursday, March 7, a 31-year-old Hickory Hills man was struck by a train at the Cass Avenue crossing in Westmont. Then on …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
The freight train involved with the incident moved out of the area around 4 p.m. All blocked crossings have now reopened.
Updated 4 p.m. A pedestrian was struck and killed by a freight train in an apparent suicide around 1 p.m. Thursday near the Stone Avenue Station in La Grange, police said. The victim is a white male, but he has not yet been identified. "This was someone who made an effort to do what he did," Police Chief Michael Holub said. "This is not someone who just walked around the gates." The freight train was stopped for about three hours between the Wolf Road and La Grange Road crossings. It moved out of the area at about 4 p.m. Service resumed a normal schedule along the BNSF commuter line shortly thereafter. The Wolf and La Grange crossings remained open throughout the afternoon, but every crossing in between was blocked. Traffic was backed up…
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The DuPage County Coroner's Office is waiting on the victim's toxicology results before announcing a cause in the first of three recent fatal incidents along the BNSF tracks.
Those who want to know what officially led to the deaths of three men stuck by Metra trains in separate incidents this month will have to be patient. DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said Wednesday afternoon his office is still investigating the causes of the incidents that took place in Westmont on March 7, in Hinsdale on March 18, and in Downers Grove on March 19, and have yet to determine whether any of the victims intended to be hit or were hit by accident. The cause of the first incident, in which a 31-year-old Hickory Hills man was struck by a Metra train near the Cass Avenue crossing in Westmont, won't be released until Jorgensen's office receives the victim's toxicology results. That, the coroner said, will likely take two …
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Three pedestrians have died after being struck by BNSF Metra trains this month in Hinsdale, Westmont and Downers Grove. Most recently, a male pedestrian was hit by a train near downtown Downers Grove on Tuesday morning.
Roughly 25 to 30 fatal collisions involving Metra trains occur across the Chicagoland system each year, Metra spokesperson Michael Gillis said, but pinning down trends is difficult. “It’s not possible to discern a pattern,” Gillis said, citing unofficial statistics kept by Metra’s media relations department. “Sometimes they happen once every couple weeks, sometimes we get a few happening in quick succession and then don’t have one for a long time.” Three fatal train-on-pedestrian collisions have occurred along BNSF tracks in the western suburbs within a 12-day span this month. The first was on March 7, when a 31-year-old Hickory Hills man was struck by a train near the Cass Avenue BNSF crossing in Westmont. On the afternoon of Monday, …
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
It was the third train-on-pedestrian fatality in the last two weeks on the stretch of BNSF railway between Hinsdale and Downers Grove.
Updated at 4:30 p.m. The DuPage County Coroner's Office does know the identity of the male pedestrian who was killed by an eastbound train near downtown Downers Grove Tuesday morning, but is withholding all information, including age and residence, until all next of kin are notified, chief deputy coroner Charlie Dastych said. 12:21 p.m. The male pedestrian who died Tuesday morning after being struck by an eastbound commuter train near the Forest Avenue crossing in Downers Grove disobeyed crossing gates that were down, according to a statement released by the Downers Grove Police Department at 11:48 a.m. According to the statement, the incident was reported to police at 9:49 a.m. A Metra spokesman said the collision itself occurred around 9…
Monday, March 18, 2013
Hinsdale Police Department Deputy Chief Mark Wodka confirmed the fatal accident Monday afternoon; several Metra trains will not operate at Naperville, Lisle or Aurora stations.
- POLICE & FIRE
Monday, March 18
Update: Monday, March 18, 8:31 p.m. The 42-year-old man who died after he was struck by a Metra train passing through the West Hinsdale train station Monday afternoon was from Clarendon Hills, according to Hinsdale Police Chief Brad Bloom. Bloom said Monday night that, though the department is waiting on a coroner's report, it appears based on witness accounts and surveillance video of the incident that the man intentionally stepped in front of the train. "We can say fairly conclusively that it does not appear to be an accident," Bloom said. Bloom said the train that hit the man at approximately 3 p.m. was traveling through the West Hinsdale station when it hit the man. The chief estimated the train, which was carrying commuters, would …
Friday, March 8, 2013
Eric Bennett of Hickory Hills was killed Thursday evening after he was hit by an eastbound Metra train at the Cass Avenue crossing in Westmont.
Updated at 4:57 p.m. Westmont Police Department officials investigating the death of Eric Bennett, the 31-year-old Hickory Hills man struck by a Metra train Thursday at the Cass Avenue crossing, are waiting to see Metra's onboard video from that train before releasing any information about what led to the fatal collision, Sgt. Stephen Thompson said Friday afternoon. "At that point we’ll have more information," Thompson said. Typically, he said, Metra gets that video to investigators within seven days of the incident. Original story: The Westmont Police Department has released the identity of the man who died Thursday night after being struck by a Metra train in Westmont. The deceased is 31-year-old Eric Bennett of Hickory Hills, according…
Trains resumed slowly through the area Thursday evening as police continued their investigation.
- POLICE & FIRE
Friday, March 8
By Joe O'Donnell Local commuters on Metra's Burlington Northern Santa Fe line were delayed several hours Thursday evening after a pedestrian was killed by a train. Get news in your inbox. Sign up for the Patch newsletter. Like Naperville Patch on Facebook. Like Lisle Patch on Facebook. The 30-year-old male pedestrian was struck and killed by an eastbound train at the Cass Avenue crossing in Westmont during the evening commute at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, police confirmed. "The pedestrian was crossing the tracks at the grade crossing when he was struck by an eastbound Metra Rail Commuter train," according to a press release from Westmont Police Chief Thomas Mulhearn. "The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:03 p.m. by …