By Bob Uphues
A 15-year-old Cicero boy suffered a large cut and some bruises but was not badly injured after being struck by a slow-moving freight train reportedly while taking a Snapchat video selfie next to the Canadian National tracks along the north edge of Village Commons Park in North Riverside at about noon on July 30.
According to North Riverside police, the boy was part of a group that had walked onto the railroad tracks to take photos. A 30-year-old woman who identified herself as the person taking the photos, according to police, said she noticed the train approaching and got everyone off the tracks.
However, the 15-year-old boy reportedly walked onto the stone right of way next to the tracks and was facing southeast, away from the oncoming train and began to take a video as the train approached.
The train conductor and engineer said they observed the party on the tracks and the engineer said he blew the train's horn multiple times as it got closer to the 15-year-old who was standing just south of the tracks.
According to police, the V-shaped cowcatcher on the front of the lead engine apparently clipped the boy, knocking him away from the tracks to the south. The train stopped and remained blocking nearby grade crossings until about 1:10 p.m., when the train was cleared to continue on eastbound.
"I think the majority of the injuries where from the fall and not from the impact," said North Riverside Police Sgt. Daniel Gaede, who responded to the scene. The boy was taken to the hospital by paramedics for treatment of his injuries.
North Riverside police referred the incident to Canadian National Railway police.