No matter who you are, you have probably used public transportation at some point in your life. Chicago is the railway hub of America, and at any one time it probably has a couple hundred buses, commuter and local trains transporting people all over the metro area. Public transit is ubiquitous in most major urban areas in the United States, and when so many modes of transportation are combined with an even greater number of people, serious accidents are always a possibility. This week multiple families are mourning the loss of loved ones as a result of what has become a string of tragic public transportation accidents.
The most recent victim, a Downers Grove man, was killed after being struck by an inbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train while crossing the tracks Tuesday morning. This pedestrian accident is the third fatality involving a Metra train in just 5 days, and the fourth time a Metra train has struck a pedestrian in the same amount of time. Illinois is currently ranked 6th in the country for what is being loosely termed ‘trespassing fatalities’ on train tracks, but transportation experts say they have “never seen so many-in such a sort time.”
On Thursday, a 56-year-old man was killed by a Milwaukee District West Line train near Bensenville station, and the following day a Metra Union Pacific Northwest train hit a fifth grader near Lake Cook road as he was crossing the rails near Illinois Route 59 near Lake Cook road. The final accident occurred just two days ago, when a 56-year-old woman was killed when a Milwaukee District West Line train struck her not far from the Bensenville Metra station. “Metra is gonna have to look…to see what they haven’t tried yet,” said one official. “Whether it’s security guards at some of these crossings at peak times…sound signals when trains are coming, or slowing down trains…this can’t continue.” (CBS News)