CHICAGO (STMW) — The death of a man who was hit by a freight train Friday night in west suburban Riverside was a suicide, an autopsy has determined.

Mark Cody, 37, of North Aurora, was hit by the train just east of grade crossing near Longcommon Road, according to a statement issued by Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel.

About 7:24 p.m., police received a call that train hit the man near the platform on the far south track, the statement said. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the man’s body under one of the rail cars, the statement said, adding that the man was hit by an eastbound BNSF freight train.

Until 2010, Cody lived on Forest Avenue in Riverside, a release Saturday from Riverside police said. Witnesses told police that Cody walked up onto the railroad tracks, assisted by a medical walker, turned his back toward the train and was struck. He then became lodged underneath one of the railcars in such a position that it required the Burlington Northern Santa Fe to uncouple the freight in order to examine the scene, the release said. Weitzel said this was a very intense and tedious task that took several hours to accomplish.

At the time of his death, Cody had a “do not resuscitate” medical order in his pocket, the release said. There were several eyewitnesses to this incident including young children that were at the grade crossing with their mother at the time, according to police.

Riverside Police notified Cody’s parents, who were out of state at the time of the incident, of his death.

Weitzel said, “At this time, eyewitnesses have stated that Mr. Cody intentionally walked up on the railroad tracks, turned his back towards the train and was struck. It took officers nearly four hours to clear the grade crossing due to the complexity of the investigation and the position of the body.”

An autopsy Saturday confirmed that Cody’s death was a suicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The grade crossing remained closed until 11:15 p.m. Friday as police completed their investigation.

The incident caused delays for inbound and outbound trains on the Metra Burlington North Santa Fe line, officials said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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