(Harvard, Illinois – October 23, 2011)
An 86-year-old resident of the McHenry Villa retirement home died on Union Pacific Railroad tracks near Harvard, IL Sunday night about 8:30 P.M. when she became lost, mistook a paved roadway between UPRR tracks for a road. When her Buick Park Avenue became stuck she exited the vehicle and was hit and killed by a Metra commuter passenger train as she sought help for her predicament.
Gloria Clara Jacobs had left her home at the McHenry Villa about noon Sunday, and was over 20 miles away in an area unfamiliar to her when the tragedy occurred. According to McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke, the victim entered the mid-track roadway at the Brink Street grade crossing and drove three-fourths of a mile before her car became stuck. Zinke added that “the area between the two tracks at Brink Street is paved and could be confusing to a driver unfamiliar with the area, especially at night and in the rain.”
After she began walking between the tracks to seek help, she was hit and killed by the Union Pacific Northwest Line Metra train traveling at 50 mph.