A 24-year-old Lyons man who was struck and killed by a Metra express train in Riverside on Tuesday at about 6:50 p.m. was wearing headphones when he rode his bicycle around a downed railroad gate and a commuter train stopped to let off passengers at the Harlem Avenue crossing.
According to witnesses, the outbound commuter train was stopped on the northernmost track, blocking about three quarters of the crossing when Jose Arguello rode his bicycle from north to south, past the downed gates and around the stopped train.
He apparently didn’t see or hear an outbound express train that was traveling at 60 mph on the center track. While the train engineer slammed on the emergency brakes, he couldn’t avoid Arguello, whose body was recovered halfway between the Harlem Avenue and Delaplaine Road crossings.
Arguello’s bicycle was found lodged under the express train, which came to a stop at Delaplaine Road. Police recovered a set of headphones at the scene and recovered Arguello’s cellphone, which had a headphone cord plugged into it.
Police shut down Harlem Avenue in both directions for three hours during their investigation. Train traffic was stopped in both directions for two hours.
The eight-car express train, which was packed with scores of people making their evening commute to the far west suburbs, was evacuated. Most passengers were escorted to the bank parking lot on the southwest corner of Harlem Avenue and East Burlington Street where they waited as long as an hour and a half to be picked up.
Berwyn police assisted Riverside police at the scene and with traffic control. Weitzel said that crash has been ruled accidental.
“My condolences go out to the family members of Mr. Arguello,” Weitzel said. “My detectives made notification to the family and also provided resources for the family and their grieving relatives, who lived in the Lyons and Stickney area.”