Oriole Park woman is killed in train accident in Edgebrook



November 11, 2008

By ALAN SCHMIDT aschmidt@pioneerlocal.com

A 48-year-old woman was struck and killed by an Amtrak train at the Edgebrook Metra stop Nov. 8 when she crossed the tracks to get to another train.

The victim was identified as Joyce Chiriboga, of the 7700 block of West Rascher Avenue. The mishap occurred just before 7 p.m. at 6401 N. Lehigh Ave.

An autopsy was conducted Sunday afternoon. A representative of the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, said the cause of death was determined to be multiple injuries due to a train striking a pedestrian. Her death was classified as accidental.

Police said Chiriboga was walking east across the tracks in the pedestrian walkway, which cuts between the inbound and outbound platforms. She was trying to get to a Metra train that was headed toward the northern suburbs.

Witnesses reported to police that Chiriboga did not see the oncoming Amtrak train, which was approaching from the north on the westernmost track. Train No. 340, traveling the Hiawatha route between Milwaukee and Chicago, was on its way downtown non-stop after pulling out of the Glenview station.

Chiriboga was dead on the scene. A funeral Mass was scheduled for Wednesday at St. Tarcissus Catholic Church, 6020 W. Ardmore Ave., Chicago.

This is the second time a person was struck by an Amtrak train since September. Hirouyki Joho, 18, of the 6900 block of North Algonquin Avenue, was killed there Sept. 13 while crossing in the pedestrian walkway. A wrongful death suit filed by his mother, that names Amtrak and Metra as defendants, is pending in United States District Court.

The Joho complaint alleges that Amtrak was negligent because "it failed to operate its train at a safe and reasonable speed," failed to adequately warn pedestrians of "the train's impending approach," and "failed to keep a proper lookout" for people crossing the tracks. Metra, according to the complaint, was negligent for failing "to provide any warning or notice of the likelihood of Amtrak trains approaching and passing through commuter boarding stations at high unabated speeds" failing to require Amtrak to "provide adequate warning," and allowing the "unreasonably and hazardous" conditions to exist.

According to Metra's answer to the complaint, filed Nov. 5 in federal court, the train horn was sounding as the Amtrak train approached the Edgebrook stop and Joho "was trying to beat the train by crossing in front of it." Amtrak's response asks the judge to dismiss the complaint, in part based on the "decedent's contribuatory negligence."

A settlement conference in that case is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2009.