Metro-East News

78-year-old struck by MetroLink in East St. Louis, taken to hospital, authorities say

A 78-year-old man was transported to the hospital Thursday after being struck by a MetroLink train in East St. Louis.

Around 3 p.m., the man was waiting for a westbound train at the East Riverfront station when he stumbled and fell from the platform onto the tracks, a news release from St. Clair County Sheriff’s Capt. Bruce Fleshren stated.

According to the release, the train was approaching as the man tried to get off the tracks, and his lower left leg was struck by a part of the train as it passed and came to a stop.

The man got away from the train and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he was treated for abrasions and a laceration, the release stated.

“Obviously this person was very lucky that he was able to get off the tracks and not have a part of his body laying over the rails as the train went by,” Fleshren wrote.

MetroLink trains traveling throughout the area were delayed for about an hour, a news release from MetroLink stated. Station shuttles transported passengers by bus between the Stadium, 8th & Pine, Convention Center, Laclede’s Landing, East Riverfront and 5th & Missouri stations.

On Monday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the week of Sept. 22-28 as “Illinois Rail Safety Week,” at the request of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. According to a release from the ILACP, the move is “an effort to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains.”

In 2018, Illinois ranked third in the nation in vehicle collision fatalities and fifth in the nation in trespasser fatalities, according to the release.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.