Just before a Chicago woman was killed Feb. 10, when a train hit her car at the Gilbert Avenue crossing of the Burlington Northern railroad tracks, she turned toward the train service engineer, looked directly at him and did not seem surprised, that employee told La Grange police.
Maria G. Hinojosa, 57, of the 3000 block of south Keeler Avenue did not try to move the vehicle or get out of it, the engineer told La Grange police.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office has ruled the death a suicide and said it was due to multiple injuries from a train hitting a vehicle.
The engineer, a 54-year-old man from Aurora, said Metra locomotive Engine 186 was going east at about 70 mph at about 5:54 p.m. that day and was approaching Gilbert Avenue when he noticed a light-colored vehicle stopped on the rails at Gilbert. He said the gates were down and flashing and he sounded the train whistle.
The driver’s door faced him on the tracks and in direct line of the front of the locomotive, he said. As he was about to hit the car, the driver turned toward him, looked directly at him and did not look surprised. She made no overt movement to try to move the vehicle or get out of the vehicle.
The 2007 Chevrolet Aveo was found overturned, with extensive damage and against a tree about 100 feet east of Gilbert, police said. An occupant with excessive trauma and no signs of life was seen inside. The Fire Department overturned the vehicle, extricated Hinojosa and brought her to Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m.
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