Chicago is home to many people of diverse interests and backgrounds so rarely do individuals need to do a double take when they encounter an unusual site. Residents of Mount Prospect have grown accustom to seeing an elderly neighbor riding his bike to and from his house. The 95-year-old apparently rode his bicycle everywhere in the community.
A tragic morning accident caused that man to sustain catastrophic injuries that led to his death. The man was riding his bike shortly before 8:00 in the morning when he was struck by a Metra train on the Union Pacific Northwest Line. The victim was riding east on West Central Road when he crossed the tracks and was hit.
While accidents with trains are relatively rare, many people suffer serious personal injuries and even death as a result of encounters with trains. Like large trucks and other heavy equipment, trains require a lot of space and time to stop. It can also be very difficult to judge how fast a train is moving which sometimes gives people a false sense of security that they will be able to safely cross tracks when a train is approaching.
As facts of this accident emerge it will be interesting to see if the train's lights and signals were properly operating when it collided with the man. For now, his identity is being protected as family is notified of his passing. As his loved ones are made aware of his death and begin to prepare for his funeral services, they may consider exploring their legal options toward recovering damages against the train company. If the train was not properly operating or if the operator failed to do his or her job correctly, the company might be liable to the survivors for the decedent's final expenses.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Man, 95, on bike struck and killed by Metra train," Sally Ho, Sep. 25, 2013