A 34-year-old Westmont man
was killed instantly at about 1:15 p.m. Oct. 6 when, witnesses told police, he
ran directly in front of an outbound Metra train just east of the Cass Avenue
crossing in Westmont.
Westmont police said the man
was identified as Jeffrey R. Christner, of the 400 block of South Cass Avenue.
The man was unemployed and police contacted his mother, who lives in North
Aurora, according to Sgt. Paul Chrzanowski.
Witnesses report that
Christner ransouthbound onto the tracks and directly into the path of a Metra
train traveling outbound from Chicago's Union Station. Police said the accident
occurred a short distance east of the grade crossing at Cass and Burlington
"We're not sure whether
it was an attempt to beat the train or something else," Chrzanowski said.
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Police said a suicide cannot
be confirmed but remains a possibility. Police said they did not recover a note
or any other indication of a suicide. Autopsy results have yet to be released
by the DuPage County coroner's office.
inconvenienced when three outbound trains were delayed, and one inbound train
was canceled, between Chicago and Aurora.
Metra spokesperson Patrick
Waldron said trains on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line experienced an
average delay of 22 minutes after the incident. Two of the three sets of tracks
were taken out of service for more than an hour as the investigation took
place, and trains moved slowly through the area on the remaining set of tracks,
Westmont and Metra police,
along with personnel from the coroner's office, conducted an investigation
until 3:40 p.m., when both train and vehicle traffic along Cass Avenue were
returned to normal capacity.
After the accident, police
arranged bus transportation for passengers on the train that struck Christner
to the Fairview Avenue station in Downers Grove. Metra met those passengers
with an outbound train at Fairview to prevent longer delays, Chrzanowski said.
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