A male pedestrian was pronounced dead Sunday night on Metra's Rock Island Line, less than 1 mile from the Oak Forest Train station.
Officials declined to release the name of the victim, pending "next of kin notification," Metra Spokesman Tom Miller said around 9:45 p.m. The man was struck by a Chicago-bound train that was due to make a stop at the Oak Forest station at 6:56 p.m.
Cleanup crews were still stationed around 10 p.m. near the intersection of Laramie Avenue and 161st Street. Seven people were waiting at that station for the hour and 24 minutes it took to get train No. 226 moving again. Outbound trains were similarly delayed—81 minutes, Miller said.
Among those dropped off at the Oak Forest stop was Alicia Woods, 25. She boarded the train in Joliet.
"I started to stand up because it was my turn to get off ..." she said while waiting on the platform for a ride home. "I heard a loud noise and the train started shakin' ... Then the conductor said, 'Have a seat. We think we just hit a person.'"
Woods was seated three cars back in the six-car train, she said, noting that she initially thought the locomotive hit another obstruction, like a tree lying across the rails.
"I had no idea what happened," she said. "The conductor said it was a teenager."
About five squad cars remained parked near the scene after the crash with their lights flashing. Metra officers warned reporters to stay back from what they said was a gruesome scene.
9:50 p.m. update: Metra and Oak Forest officers remained on scene around 9:20 p.m. near the intersection of Laramie and 161st Streets, where clean-up crews were working to restore service to the Rock Island Line.
More than two hours earlier — 6:55 p.m., Metra officials said — Chicago-bound train No. 226 struck and killed a pedestrian near the Oak Forest station. It was due to roll in there at 6:56 p.m., confirmed Metra Spokesman Tom Miller.
"As far as the accident itself, or why the person was on the tracks, we don't know that," Miller said, around 9:45 p.m. Sunday.
8:50 p.m. update: Passengers who were on board the train estimate that the person was struck at about 6:55 p.m. The train was headed into downtown Chicago.
Patch is pursuing more details.
8:30 p.m. update: The Rock Island Train No. 226 began moving from the scene of the fatality shortly before 8:30 p.m. Seven people were waiting to board the train at the Oak Forest station, and they told Patch they had been waiting at the station for more than an hour.