(LaGrange, Illinois – May 13, 2014)
A 66-year-old local man, using a cane to enable himself to walk, was struck down and killed Tuesday evening at about 7:25 P.M., near the Clybourn Station by a Chicago Metra express passenger train at the LaGrange Road intersection with Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks.
The LaGrange Sun-Times reported that the victim, Lawrence Brigel, “was using a cane and apparently not moving fast enough as an express train approached, which was not slowing down to stop and could have been moving at 50 mph,” according to LaGrange Chief of Police Michael Holub. The entire tragedy was recorded by new security cameras, installed outside the station barely a month ago.
“Perhaps he totally misjudged the train,” Chief Holub speculated, adding that “the event was captured by the camera, which more than anything else will help the medical examiner’s office make a clear-cut decision.”
The tragedy, quite ironically, occurred on the same day that railroad and local police agencies were busy handing out educational grade crossing safety fliers at a number of other Metra crossings along the BNSF route.
The accident marked the 18th recorded at the BNSF/LaGrange Road grade crossing, which is equipped with both flashing lights and crossing gates, since the inception of the Federal Railroad Administration’s crossing inventory and accident reporting program in the 1970’s. Brigel’s death marked the eighth fatality attributable to accidents at that crossing, where an additional five non-fatal injuries have been suffered as a result of those incidents.
A daily average of 156 Metra commuter, Amtrak passenger and BNSF freights operate through that particular rail corridor at a maximum allowable time table speed of 70 mph.