Authorities ID Chicago teen in electrocution death at Metra rail yard
By Susan DeMar Lafferty Sun-Times Media June 16, 2014 6:12PM
The rail yard at the end of Metra's Electric line is visible and accessible from the platform at the University Park station at Governors Highway and University Parkway. At the end of the day trains are parked here and Sunday night a juvenile was electrocuted after climbing on top of a train. | Susan DeMar Lafferty/Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 16, 2014 8:36PM
Metra police are continuing the agency’s investigation into the electrocution death of a Chicago teenager at a suburban train yard Sunday night, a rail agency spokeswoman said.
The Will County coroner’s office and Metra identified the teen who was killed as Marcellus Martin, 13, of Chicago. Martin was killed after jumping on top of an empty parked electric train, officials said.
He was with four other juveniles, two from University Park and two from Richton Park, who entered the rail yard where Metra parks empty cars overnight. One of them, a 17-year-old, is being charged with trespassing because he also was on the equipment, Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said.
The area is not fenced, but a marsh and a ditch separate the rail yard from the road, she said. And, the train cars are clearly marked: “Danger High Voltage,” Reile said.
The group crossed over a marshy area to reach the rail yard, and were “wandering through the area,” she said. “They were trespassing. We have no idea where they came from. There are no houses in that area.”
“This is horrible,” Reile said. “This is not a place where you should be walking.”
“It is a tragedy,” said University Park Mayor Vivian E. Covington, who noted that it appears the boy and several of his friends were playing in the train yard. “I haven’t seen anything like this. It’s a real weird thing. Kids around here know it’s taboo [to play there].”
University Park police were the first on the scene, but have turned the investigation over to Metra police. Metra police continue to investigate the incident, which occurred between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, trying to determine what the juveniles were doing on the property, and how many kids were involved, she said.
The University Park Metra station was closed for three to four hours Sunday night while police investigated. Passengers were bussed between Matteson and University Park.
Contributing: Mitch Dudek