Article from today's Kane County (IL) Chronicle - my local paper:
Bicyclist killed by freight train
By EMILY PREVITI
BURLINGTON – A bicyclist struck and killed by a freight train Sunday evening has been identified as Gerardo Turrubiartes, according to Kane County Sheriff's Lt. Pat Gengler. Turrubiartes, 42, of St. Charles was hit by a westbound Canadian Railways train on Engel Road, Gengler said.
“It was very violent,” Gengler said. Police believe that Turrubiartes was killed instantly. He was not carrying identification. An iPod and helmet were found at the scene along with the bicycle, which was so badly damaged that investigators could not discern the point of contact, Gengler said.
The incident is the first involving a train this year in Kane County, Sgt. Brandon Gentry said. Gengler said the train’s conductor called 911 around 5:35 p.m. Nearly three hours later, the train remained halted on the tracks, which are owned by Canadian National Railways.
Surrounded by cornfields, the junction lacks red flashing lights and guard rails, Gengler said. There is, however, a sign advising upcoming train tracks, Gengler added.
Police believe that Turrubiartes was riding his bicycle north on Engel Road. Kane County Emergency Management Office workers blocked off Engel Road at its intersections with Plank and Lenschow roads.
Personnel from the railway and Burlington Fire Department also responded, according to a statement from police. Calls for comment from the railway were not immediately returned.
- This really hits home for me, as this is the county where I live and ride. I am intimately familiar with this train crossing, as it is on the route for our club's annual charity ride each June, a ride that I have planned, made the route map for and signs for the ride. Our weekly club ride also frequents this road several times each season.
I really don't understand people that road ride with an iPod. Out in the corn and soybean fields, with the wind in your ears, the sense of hearing is really important in bike safety, especially when riding in a group. I can understand using an iPod in one ear when riding on a MUP, but the road? In my riding group we call them 'future organ donors' when we see them out riding - sad to see this sick joke come true.