Updated 03/07/14 – 12:27 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A 17-year-old boy who attended Taft High School was struck and killed by a Metra train on Friday, just blocks away from school.
Erik Lucansky, 17, was walking near the Norwood Park station at Avondale and Bryn Mawr avenues when he was struck by a Union Pacific Northwest Line train.
Lucansky was a student at nearby Taft High School
“It is with heavy hearts that we must inform the Taft community of the passing of one of our students,” school officials said in a statement on the school website. “Please join us in offering Erik’s family our deepest sympathy in this time of sorrow.”
Union Pacific officials, quoting investigators, said Lucansky might have been wearing headphones at the time. Sources said he was walking with his 15-year-old niece when he was struck. She was not hurt.
Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears the boy simply didn’t hear the train, a source said.
Lucansky was rushed to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, but was pronounced dead.
A passenger on the Barrington-bound train spoke about the tragic event.
“We heard the horn sound, and then we felt the brakes,” Thomas Pratt said. “It wasn’t normal. They’d popped the emergency brake.”
Pratt said, after the train stopped, someone came through the cars and told passengers they’d hit a pedestrian. Passengers could see the boy lying on the ground outside.
Union Pacific officials said counselors would be made available to the crew of the train that struck the boy, as well as to paramedics and other first responders who were at the scene.
Taft also has made grief counselors available to students and staff.