Metra Worker Struck, Killed On Tracks
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UPDATED: 7/5/2013 8:30 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A Metra worker was struck and killed while working on some tracks on the South Side on Friday.
The accident happened around 1:30 p.m. near 41st Street and Lake Shore Drive on the Metra Electric line, when train No. 223 struck the worker, who was identified as Luis Mercado.
Mercado, 36, of Berwyn, was a track man and had worked for the rail agency since 2001.
“At this point, we are just distraught, you know?” said Jose Ochoa, Mercado’s brother in law. “There is a lot going through my mind.”
“He was a good man.”
Ochoa is a rail industry man himself, for 27 years now.
“I have seen a lot,” he said. “But when it’s personal, it’s hard.”
The train left the Millennium Station at 1:15 p.m which was due at Blue Island at 2:07 p.m.
The accident caused delays of up to one hour along the line.
South Shore trains to Indiana were also affected, with delays of about 30 minutes.
Mercado worker was performing routine track maintenance as part of a track crew, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.
Metra rules require a flagman to be positioned well up the tracks from such workers to warn engineers to slow down and be prepared to stop, WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports.
Gillis said that the commuter rail agency has begun an internal investigation to determine whether the protection was in place and rules were being followed.
The engineer also will be relieved of duty temporarily and will undergo drug and alcohol testing.