Police ID victim in train accident


By AMELIA FLOOD - aflood@kcchronicle.com


BURLINGTON – From what investigators can determine, Gerardo Turrubiartes was just out for a bike ride.

The 42-year-old St. Charles resident was killed Sunday evening when he and his bicycle were struck by a Canadian National Railways train on Engel Road near Burlington.

The cause of the accident still is unclear, although Turrubiartes’ iPod was found at the scene. Given the severity of the collision, investigators have not been able to establish whether the music player contributed to the collision.

“He may not have even heard it coming,” Kane County sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said. “To be blunt, it was bad.”

Investigators have spoken with friends and family, Gengler said, and learned that Turrubiartes was an “avid bike rider.”

A phone number for Turrubiartes’ family could not immediately be found.

The train’s conductor attempted to stop, Canadian National Railways spokesman Jim Kvedaras said.

“The horn was sounded and the crew threw the emergency break, but they can’t stop on a dime,” Kvedaras said.

The intersection is not gated and is not lit, Gengler said. It does have a crossbuck, a sign that marks it as a rail crossing.

“It’s like a four-way intersection with no stop signs,” Gengler said.

Gengler said Turrubiartes might have been unfamiliar with the area and not realized that he was crossing the tracks. The intersection is about 11 miles from Turrubiartes’ home in St. Charles.

There have been other incidents at that particular crossing, Gengler said. Railroad gates and crossings are the responsibilities of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Kvedaras said, not the railroad company.

ICC officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.


                                                                                              Kane county Chronicle