The driver of the car hit by a Metra train Thursday may have left what could be a "goodbye note," NBC reported Friday.
But Tinley resident Gayle Larsen, the granddaughter of Gail Crabtreee, 97, who was a passenger in the car said, "It absolutely was not a suicide note."
"I have answered two calls from (Gail's) great-grandchildren who were in tears when they had heard on the news that this was a supposed suicide," said Larsen, who lived with Gail. "That's not what it was."
Investigators say it appears that 81-year-old Donna Grace, drove herself and Crabtree 97, around the lowered gate and directly into the Metra train. Both women died when their car collided with the train.
The contents of the note have not been disclosed, but NBC reports that a source close to the investigation said, "It was clearly a goodbye note."
Larsen said the note, which was written to Grace's son, was calling him to task.
"I think if that note meant anything, I think it meant that she finally decided that if he didn't shape up, he could ship out," she said. "They're saying it was a goodbye note? No. Not unless he was leaving the house."
Cameras inside the train indicate that all lights and gates at the crossing were functioning, said Metra spokesperson Meg Reile. The car was not on the tracks as the train approached, Reile said. The footage shows all safety systems functioning as intended, Reile said, followed by the point of impact, which derailed the front car of the train. A witness recounted that the car exploded on impact with the train.
Check back with Patch for more information as this story develops.