Brown Line Train Strikes, Kills Bicyclist; Police and CTA Say Man's Death Appears to be an Accident

 

By Mary Owen, Tribune staff reporter\ Tribune photographer Nuccio DiNuzzo contributed to this report

An adult male bicyclist was struck and killed Sunday afternoon by an inbound CTA Brown Line train on Chicago's North Side, officials said.

The incident appeared to be an accident, police and CTA officials said.

The man was crossing the street-level train tracks about 4:30 p.m. near the Rockwell station in the Lincoln Square neighborhood when he was hit, authorities said.

All Brown Line trains were shut down for more than three hours following the crash, Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Sheila Gregory said.

The red-and-white striped crossing gate, warning lights and bells at the train intersection in the 4600 block of North Rockwell Street all appeared to be working properly when the incident occurred, Gregory said.

The incident happened about 20 feet from the station platform, which is on the west side of Rockwell, police said. The train had just left the station when the incident occurred.

Witnesses said an outbound train had crossed the intersection moments before the bicyclist proceeded, speculating that the man hadn't realized that there were two tracks.

The man and his bike were pinned beneath the train's first car, police said.

A mangled green Schwinn bike laid on the street Sunday afternoon as officers spoke to witnesses and cleaned up the scene.

The Cook County medical examiner's office declined to identify the man Sunday night pending notification of family members. An autopsy is expected to be completed Monday.

The Rockwell station was closed for about six months last year as part of a $350 million reconstruction of the Brown Line. A portion of that reconstruction project included some railroad-crossing mechanisms, but Gregory wasn't sure Sunday night if the Rockwell signals were new.

The last fatal CTA accident occurred in February, when police said a man apparently slipped on an icy platform and was struck by a train at a Red Line Addison Street station.

mowen@tribune.com