Worker dies after train car derails

Police unsure how BNSF employee was injured fatally

December 29, 2007

By Erika Wurst Staff Writer

YORKVILLE -- A Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway employee was killed Friday morning in a train derailment here.

At around 10 a.m., police were called to the 200 block of Wheaton Avenue near the F.E. Wheaton lumber yard, west of Route 47, where they found a partially overturned train car and a deceased worker.

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Emergency workers gather where a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailment killed a railway employee Friday west of Route 47 near Yorkville.

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A Burlington Northern Santa Fe worker died at the scene of this train derailment Friday in Yorkville. Authorities, who had not identified the victim by press time Friday night, said it is not known how he was injured and if the derailed car was involved in his death.
Photos by HEATHER EIDSON / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Authorities do not yet know how the employee, who was working on a crew involved in a routine switching operation on a side track, was killed.

Steve Forsberg, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Regional general director of public affairs, said he does not know how the fatal injuries occurred.

"How the employee was injured and whether or not the derailed car was involved is unknown," he said. "It is still being investigated."

Snow poured down on officers who worked to piece together the scene. Yellow caution tape surrounded the track, where the freight train car still sat derailed, surrounded by firetrucks and bundled-up officers.

The Yorkville Police Department, along with Plano officers, Kendall County sheriff's deputies and the Bristol-Kendall Fire Department responded to the incident.

Upon arrival, officers secured the scene for the Kendall County coroner and Burlington Northern Santa Fe investigators.

Workers at the lumber yard, just yards away from were the freight train derailed, chugged away with their daily duties in the cold.

Personal information about the victim had not been released Friday night as Yorkville police worked to notify family members.

ewurst@scn1.com