I’ve written before about being on a train that is delayed by a “pedestrian incident.” But until the other night, I hadn’t been on a train that hit a pedestrian. Fortunately, I didn’t see the incident, but it was still not a great experience.
The train was moving along like usual when suddenly, we heard what sounded like small pieces of rocks or metal hitting the train. The train quickly stopped, and the engineer radioed over to the conductors that there was an emergency. We thought that maybe stuff had flown off a passing coal train and caused some damage.
A few minutes later, the conductor informed us that what I thought had happened wasn’t what had happened. We had hit someone, which meant we weren’t going anywhere for a while.
Indeed, we sat for 2.5 hours, and eventually, we were moving again. After 9 p.m., more than three hours after the train had left Chicago, it finally pulled into my station.
After I get off the train, I generally have to walk in front of it to get to my parking lot. This was the case that night, so I trudged off. I glanced at the front of the train, and it was a sad sight.
The cow-catcher area was spattered with a lot of blood and what sure looked like human tissue. Though I hadn’t seen the body (which was probably visible from other areas of the train immediately after the accident), there was no mistaking what the train had hit from the residue on the front.
I turned away and shook my head. Someone likely had stepped in front of that train to end their life. There was nothing to like about the situation. All anyone could do that night, on that train, was shake their heads, walk away, and pray.