Sunday, December 16, 2012

Metra Train Suicide AKA "Trespasser Fatality" or Metracide.

From Wikipedia - Metra Fatalities By Year
          When you start searching on the internet regarding Metracide you become absolutely stunned at how many of these have happened and that its actually nothing new. But its not one suicide a week, though when you hear the news it seems like it sometimes. People have been committing suicide this way long before Metra boss Pagano decided to end it all. The disturbing thing to contemplate is who knows if the next time you take Metra is going to be the time you see someone commit suicide. Is there someone about to end it all among the group? As you look around and are waiting for your train; is there someone there about to leap in front of a fast moving train? . It is a quick way to die, leaves a gruesome scene for everyone else. you traumatize the engineer driving the train and you may encourage copy cats like three Lake Forest high school kids who killed themselves this year. Its quite a spectacle and you make everyone late.

           Looking at the numbers it was only a matter of time before someone did this in Rogers Park. Of course not all trespasser fatalities are suicides, some are accidents. This site gives a good overview of percentage of deaths by accident and suicide in train track deaths. This link is probably the best to read to get an idea of the history of death by train which goes back to Leo Tolstoy and Anna Karenina.

Metra Train travelling fast over Touhy in Rogers Park

The most memorable train suicide in recent memory.- 
"The man (Phil Pagano) credited with making Chicago's Metra commuter train line one of the best in the country is an apparent suicide, killed Friday by the train he himself rode five days a week for more than two decades." "The train's lone engineer "saw a man standing on the tracks turning and looking at the train," Nygren said. "There was eye contact, he felt, between himself and the victim." Pagano, Metra's executive director, made no attempt to step off the tracks, and the train, which was traveling between 45 mph and 55 mph, could not stop in time, Nygren said."

Chicago Magazine article on the Lake Forest Suicides this year. 
"Tragically, teens killing themselves around the same time in the same way isn’t as rare as you might think. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Americans aged 10 to 24, and these so-called cluster suicides account for an estimated 5 percent of the deaths, according to a classic 1993 study by Philip Hazell, a professor of psychiatry at the University of New Castle, Australia."

Below the jump break is a very long list of links to recent metra suicides

Our very own Kevin O'Neil covered three suicides for EL trains this past summer.

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