LA GRANGE – Lawrence W. Brigel, 66, of Deerfield Court in Orland Park, was struck and killed by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe commuter train at the La Grange Road train station at about 7:25 p.m. Tuesday, according to BNSF Metra Spokeswoman Meg Reile.
Brigel was walking southbound on La Grange Road when he was hit by BNSF train No.1287, an express train from Chicago, Reile said.
Brigel was pronounced dead at 7:38 p.m. at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
According to La Grange Police Chief Michael Holub, Brigel was on the north side of the tracks when we walked around the flashing lights and gate and began to cross the tracks. The train was located on a middle track. Holub said Brigel's death was ruled accidental and police believed he underestimated the speed of the train.
Reile said Metra had five train delays as a result of the incident, with the longest being for about an hour.
Area police departments have been out recently strictly enforcing laws about crossing the tracks against the gates and handing out literature to commuters.
The Western Springs Police Department will be joining the eighth annual Police On Board For Rail Safety campaign next week.
Through May 20, the department will be coordinating a regional effort to lower collisions and violations at all railroad grade crossings along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line.
Between 50 and 60 people are killed each year at rail grade crossings in the state, with an additional 70 to 100 being injured, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Matthew Hendrickson provided additional reporting for this story.