Almost two weeks after a man plowed a 2004 Range Rover into a Berwyn train depot, killing Riverside resident Kathleen Talmage, police have still not made an arrest despite ongoing efforts to find him.
In an effort to urge anyone with information pertaining to the case to come forward, Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad officials last week announced a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender.
“We’re encouraging anyone with information to contact the Berwyn Police Department and ask to speak to an investigator,” said Steve Forsberg, a spokesman for the BNSF. “We’re doing this to try to stimulate someone with information to come forward.”
The Berwyn police can be reached at (708) 795-5600.
Meanwhile, Berwyn police have been stymied in their attempts to find the man who rammed into the Metra station at 7135 W. Windsor Ave. at 5:45 a.m. on March 3. Shortly after the crash, the offender was seen exiting the vehicle and sitting down on the rubble resulting from the crash. Before police arrived, however, he fled on foot.
When emergency personnel arrived on the scene they found only the abandoned vehicle and Talmage, who was critically injured and died shortly afterward at nearby MacNeal Hospital.
Berwyn Police Chief William Kushner confirmed last week that his department did have “some contact” with the driver of vehicle shortly after the incident on March 3.
“There had been some contact immediately after the accident,” said Kushner, who declined to specify whether contact was made with the driver himself or another person. “But nothing since that time.”
While police say they can’t say for sure who may have been driving the vehicle at the time of the crash, they are still “actively looking for the registered owner” of the vehicle.
As a result of filing a Freedom of Information request with Riverside police for reports relating to the incident, the Landmark has learned that the owner of the vehicle is Stephen J. Pocina, 44, of 12 E. Quincy St., Riverside.
Berwyn police called Riverside shortly after the incident, requesting Riverside police go to Pocina’s residence to talk with him. Riverside police were unable to make any contact with him, however.
Police stressed that the vehicle’s owner is not considered a suspect and has not been charged with any crime.
“We’re running down every lead we can,” Kushner said.
Berwyn police sought to issue an arrest warrant for an unnamed individual in the days since the incident, but the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has so far denied that request.
“At this point there is insufficient evidence to obtain an arrest warrant,” said Tom Stanton, public information officer for the Cook County State’s Attorney. “It’s a continuing investigation.”