Railroad News

11-Year-Old Crippled by Metra Train at UP Suburban Crossing

(Barrington, Illinois – March 15, 2013)

An fifth grade boy, who was with a group of friends and fellow Hough Street Elementary School students on their way to Barrington, IL’s annual Celtic Fest St. Patrick’s Day weekend celebration, received horrible crippling injuries when he waited for the passing of one Chicago Metra commuter passenger train, only to accidentally step into the path of another Metra train traveling in the opposite direction on an adjacent track and hidden from view by the first train at Barrington’s Hough Street crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks Friday evening about 6:00 P.M.

Dominic Szymanski suffered the loss of one foot and the loss of several toes on his other foot in addition to scrapes and bruises. Dominic’s friends called 911 and stayed with their classmate to comfort and aid him until paramedics arrived.

Barrington Unit School District spokesman Jeffrey Arnett said that the Hough Street neighborhood was very “close-knit” and the boy’s accident had prompted more than a thousand offers of help, assistance and concern for what the school official described as what will be a “substantial” recovery process.

Although the Hough Street/Union Pacific crossing is equipped with lights, bells and gates to protect vehicular traffic, there are no pedestrian gates to help prevent tragedies like occurred Friday. The double-tracked crossing sees the daily passage of 66 freight and passenger trains at top allowable speeds of up to 50 mph.

The victim is being treated at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL.