Updated 5/28: Woman killed by train identified

May 28, 2008


A woman is dead after reportedly being “sucked under” a Metra express train that hit her Tuesday morning in Western Springs.

Michelle Roberts, 21, of 31 Heatherwood Court in Indian Head Park, was pronounced dead on the scene at 10:30 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

An outbound Metra train traveling on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line struck the woman near the Western Springs station, 1914 Burlington Ave. about 7:40 a.m., said Metra spokesman Tom Miller. The Burlington line runs between Chicago and Aurora.

The incident happened east of the station, according to a release from Western Springs police. Responding officers found the woman's body on the tracks about 75 yards west of a pedestrian crossing at Hillgrove and Lawn avenues.

It appears the woman was walking south and attempted to cross the tracks at the Lawn Avenue crossing, but was subsequently struck by a westbound express train, police said.

Authorities said Roberts was running along a pedestrian area when she was “sucked under” the train, which was approaching at full speed. Prior to being hit, she reportedly crossed a yellow warning line designated to keep pedestrians a safe distance from approaching trains.

The train, which was not carrying any passengers, was traveling approximately 70 miles-per-hour at the time of the collision, police said.

Western Springs police Deputy Chief Brian Budds said the incident "appears to be accidental." The grade crossing is marked for pedestrian and vehicular traffic including crossing gates and warning lights.

-                                                                                                               Sun-Times News Group