2 fatally struck by BNSF Metra train on West Side

A man and woman in their 50s were killed on an elevated section of Metra track on Chicago's West Side.
A man and a woman have been struck and killed by a Metra train on Chicago's West Side near 18th and Western Avenue.

Delays on some BNSF trains topped three hours Thursday night, and several trains had to be taken out of service after a man and woman in their 50s were killed on an elevated section of track.

Relatives of the victims gathered at the scene of tragedy, where the bodies of their loved ones were unable to be identified.

"We're all worried. Most of the neighbors out here are praying, trying to give most of the family hope," said Larry Jackson.

Jackson fears it was his wife, Margaret Huddleston and her brother, Barry Huddleston, who were killed on the tracks. The incident snarling the evening commute for Metra commuters.

"You usually know there's something wrong when you come down the escalator and see like hundreds of people standing around," said Metra passenger Stefan Prater.

Around 4:45 p.m., an inbound BNSF train hit a man and woman who were on foot about a mile west of Western.

"We were on the train, and everyone thought that something broke off the train on the bottom," said Metra passenger Anthony Lozaro.

As inbound and outbound trains were halted on the BNSF line, Union Station spiraled into chaos at rush hour. By 7 p.m., both directions had reopened but delays on some trains topped three hours.

Neighbors say the stretch of track at Homan near several homes and a playground is known as a neighborhood short cut, and some have long wanted a fence.

"For the kids, they're up there often. Every day you see a kid up on that track," said Barbara Barber, Lawndale resident.

Relatives of the victims say it's unclear why they were on the track. At this hour trains are still not stopping at the nearby Western station. A Metra spokesperson said BNSF trains will be running on a modified schedule Friday morning, and commuters should check the Metra website for updates.

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