By Bob Uphues
A 21-year-old woman was killed after reportedly stepping in front of an inbound Metra commuter train in downtown Riverside at about 8:15 a.m. on June 1.
Riverside police said the victim as Linnea M. Thorson, of Woodridge, who was identified after officers recovered a set of car keys and a cellphone at the scene. Police used the car key fob to locate Thorson's car, walking a three-block area near the scene. Police found the car parked on the street in front of the police parking lot on Riverside Road, about 100 feet east of the police station.
According to police, eyewitnesses said the woman walked onto the tracks from the backyard of an apartment building between the Longcommon Road and Cowley Road grade crossings on the south side of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad line.
Another eyewitness emailed the Landmark to report that the woman didn't walk up to the tracks from a yard, at least initially. According to the witness, the woman walked up onto the platform from the easternmost set of stairs before walking off the platform into the grassy area to the east.
The Metra engineer attempted to stop the train and blew the train's horn, but the train was unable to stop in time.
Weitzel said police have interviewed all eyewitnesses, including the train's engineer and conductor. The engineer reportedly confirmed that the woman appeared to purposefully step in front of the train, which was an express, traveling at 70 mph through Riverside. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office on June 2 ruled the woman's death a suicide.
All freight and commuter train traffic was stopped in both directions until about 10:30 a.m. on June 1 while police investigated the scene, Weitzel said.