Causes of All 3 Fatal Metra Collisions Still Under Investigation
The DuPage County Coroner's Office is waiting on the victim's toxicology results before announcing a cause in the first of three recent fatal incidents along the BNSF tracks.
Those who want to know what officially led to the deaths of three men stuck by Metra trains in separate incidents this month will have to be patient.
DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said Wednesday afternoon his office is still investigating the causes of the incidents that took place in Westmont on March 7, in Hinsdale on March 18, and in Downers Grove on March 19, and have yet to determine whether any of the victims intended to be hit or were hit by accident.
The cause of the first incident, in which a 31-year-old Hickory Hills man was struck by a Metra train near the Cass Avenue crossing in Westmont, won't be released until Jorgensen's office receives the victim's toxicology results. That, the coroner said, will likely take two to three weeks.
"We always do toxicology tests," Jorgensen said.
Sgt. Stephen Thompson of the Westmont Police Department, who had previously said he expected the coroner's report to be ready last week, maintained the department would not release any possible scenarios without the report.
"In a death investigation, we bring our findings together with the coroner's office and they officially name the cause of death," said Thompson, the police department's spokesperson.
The Westmont incident was the first of three similar fatal pedestrian incidents involving eastbound Metra trains along a short stretch of BNSF tracks.
On the afternoon of March 18, a 42-year-old Clarendon Hills man stepped in front of a train at the West Hinsdale train station. Though the coroner's office has not released its conclusion, Hinsdale Police Chief Brad Bloom said witnesses and surveillance video suggest the man intended to be hit.
The next morning, on March 19, a 21-year-old Downers Grove man was hit by a train at the Forest Avenue crossing in Downers Grove, just west of the Downers Grove-Main Street station. In that case, Downers Grove police cited witnesses who said the man disobeyed crossing signals that were down.
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