Witnesses: Woman trying to catch Metra train in Wilmette fatally struck

WILMETTE, Ill. (WLS) -- An 82-year-old woman from north suburban Wilmette died Wednesday morning after she was struck by an inbound Metra Union Pacific-North train.

Emergency crews responded around 7:55 a.m. to a report of a pedestrian struck at a train crossing near Green Bay Road and Central Avenue.

The woman was hit along the east tracks by Metra Train No. 320, a southbound express train, as she tried to cross near the station platform, police said.

All train gates were down and working properly. Investigators said she had gone around the gates. Witnesses said she may have thought the train was going to stop.

The woman died at the scene, authorities said. She was identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as Zenobia W. Ciesielska.

Police say Ciesielska went around the deployed train gates and attempted to cross the tracks when she was struck by an inbound express train. Witnesses say it appeared the elderly woman was trying to get to the platform ahead of the train.

Metra UP-N trains were halted in both directions near Wilmette for an investigation. A Metra train shuttled riders between Chicago and Central Street in north suburban Evanston during the stoppage. The CTA accepted Metra tickets Wednesday morning on Purple, Red and Brown line trains.

Trains started moving again around 10 a.m. Residual delays of 90 minutes were possible.

Hayley Molnar, a Metra commuter, let her boss know she would be late for work Wednesday.

"You never think about it, but you know it could happen every day. I cross the tracks every day, multiple times. I feel bad for that family. I feel bad for the conductor. I feel bad," Molnar said.

Police are working with Metra and Union Pacific officials for the investigation.
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