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UPDATE: Male Pedestrian Dies After Being Struck by BNSF Metra Train in Westmont

Trains resumed slowly through the area Thursday evening as police continued their investigation.

2:20 p.m. Friday

Anyone who's been reading this story is likely looking both ways today when crossing the tracks, but Patch still thought it appropriate to pull together some railroad-crossing safety tips published by Metra.

Read the tips here.

12:27 p.m.

Westmont Police have released the identity of the man who has struck and killed by a Metra train Thursday night at the Cass Avenue crossing.

The deceased is 31-year-old Eric Bennett of Hickory Hills. The circumstances that led to his being struck have yet to be released. 

Read Patch's full story here.

8:32 a.m.

Calls from Patch to the Westmont Police Department and BNSF this morning seeking more information on the death of a man struck by a Metra train in Westmont Thursday were not immediately returned.

Stay with Patch for more details as they become available.

10:30 p.m. Thursday

A 31-year-old male pedestrian was struck and killed by an eastbound train at the Cass Avenue crossing in Westmont Thursday evening, police confirmed.

The man was struck at approximately 5:45 p.m., said Sgt. Stephen Thompson, Westmont Police Department spokesman. A press release sent out by Westmont Police Chief Thomas Mulhearn detailed the incident.

"The pedestrian was crossing the tracks at the grade crossing when he was struck by an eastbound Metra Rail Commuter train," the release reads. "The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:03 p.m. by medical personnel from Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove via paramedics from the Westmont Fire Department."

The Naperville Sun is reporting that the train that hit the man was carrying an engineer and crew, but no passengers. 

Thompson said "it's too early to make any calls" on what led to the collision. The identity of the victim is being withheld as family are notified. 

BNSF trains were halted until about 6:45 p.m., Mulhearn's release reads, and Cass Avenue traffic was detoured around the crossing until 8:30 p.m.

"This accident is currently under investigation by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Police, the DuPage County Coroners Office and this department," Mulhearn's release says. "This incident is being classified as a death investigation at this time."

BNSF passengers experienced delays throughout the night as a result, but as of 10:26 p.m. Thursday, there were no BNSF service advisories listed on Metra's website.

Reaction from Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Patch's Facebook:

  • Rochelle: How sad for his him and his family. ):
  • Rick: I work at Chris Angileri's State Farm Agency right south of the Westmont Centre. I'm staring at the crossing and many people disregard the gates and walk across. I've seen the police cut off pedestrians that do this and ticket them. How awful for the train engineers that have to deal with this and anyone who sees it in real time.
  • Traci: I have him and his loved ones in my prayers. No matter what the cause, it was tragic and I am so sorry it happened.

Editor's note: Patch previously reported that the victim was 30 years old, based on a release from the Westmont Police Department. Police officials now say the man was 31, and this story has been changed to reflect that.

Clever Name Withheld March 10, 2013 at 03:06 AM
I think life was better before social media, when there wasn't so much direct evidence of the callousness and selfishness in people's hearts and minds; at least I could be blissfully ignorant and assume such thoughts were very rare. I rather hate knowing otherwise. My heart goes out to the little girl, and it pains me to think of the terrible knowledge she'll have to grow up with and carry for the rest of her life, long after we've all forgotten this tragedy. May the man rest in peace and his memory live in those he left behind. To those of you making assumptions and judgments, especially if you have children of your own, go and sit in judgment on yourselves.
nellie matlock March 10, 2013 at 02:02 PM
my grandaughter saw this. we were crossing the tracks really slow because the gates had just lifted after a passinger train passed. what a horrable thing for a 10 year old to see. she saw it well tooooo well. .
nellie matlock March 10, 2013 at 02:13 PM
my grandaughter and i were crossing the tracks right after a passinger train had unloaded. the gates were up, cars were slowing crossing the tracks. my 10year old grandaughter saw the deceased. there were no police or emergency people there yet
nellie matlock March 10, 2013 at 02:23 PM
this could be correct. my grandaughter drew a picture of what she saw, to kind of help her deal with it and because i was still not sure she did see what she thought she saw. his back was against the train. and then he fell face first to the ground. she even knew it was a man. this was about 1 hour after she witnessed it.
Joe O'Donnell March 10, 2013 at 02:39 PM
We're shutting down comments on this story because the discussion has become repetitive and is no longer covering new ground. Thanks everyone for their opinions and for sharing their memories of Eric Bennett.

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