CHICAGO (CBS) — The body of a second teenager who was struck by a Metra Rock Island train Wednesday night was found and positively identified Saturday, Metra said.
Around 2:20 p.m., the body of Charles G. Cooper, 15, of New Lenox, was located in Hickory Creek near Gardner Street in Joliet, more than 3 miles downstream from the scene of the accident.
The body of Jacob A. Manka, 17, of Mokena, had already been recovered and identified.
Metra police said three teenagers were trespassing and walking west along the Rock Island tracks on a bridge near Lincoln Highway and Highland Drive Wednesday night when a train came through behind them. Officials originally said there were four teens walking on the tracks, but clarified Thursday afternoon that there were three teens walking to meet a fourth.
The other teen who was on the tracks was not injured.
Metra said an engineer on the train saw the three teens on the tracks as the train was approaching. All three started to run, but the train hit two of them.
“It’s not like this point has been a known trouble spot. Chicago has a lot of railroads, and so there are occasional incidents where kids are hanging out on the tracks. It’s not frequent. It’s not something that happens a lot,” Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said. “This was a very traumatic experience for the engineer and the crew.”
The westbound train had just left New Lenox and had one more stop in Joliet. There were 23 people on board.
“Most of our system does not have fences,” Gillis said. “It’s just not practical to fence the entire right of way. We don’t know how these teens got on the tracks to begin with anyway.”
Emergency crews spent several hours searching for the missing victim Wednesday night before suspending their search. They returned Thursday morning, and were focusing on Hickory Creek under the tracks.
Rock Island trains were halted in Joliet for several hours after the accident Wednesday night, but normal service resumed Thursday morning.