Man Blames Self For Not Being Able To Save Woman Stuck On Metra Tracks

CHICAGO — A Chicago man is blaming himself that he wasn’t able to save an elderly woman in a wheelchairfrom being struck and killed by a Rock Island Line train Sunday evening in Washington Heights. She was identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner as 70-year-old Audrey Buck, address unknown.

Christopher Tucker had just picked up his son from wrestling practice Harlen High School around 7:30 p.m. Sunday , when he stopped at the rail crossing at 99th Street and Vincennes Avenue.

“We were approaching the train tracks when I saw somebody stuck on the tracks in a wheelchair,” said Tucker, who works for the BNSF-CSX railroad and is highly familiar with locomotives and rail lines. “The train was already coming. I’m trying to get her off the tracks. I pulled and pulled trying to get the wheelchair off the tracks.”

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>>> Woman Fatally Struck By Rock Island Metra Train Identified

Tucker said the woman was strapped into a heavy electric wheelchair and appeared to be a double amputee. He believes she may have been heading to a gas station on the other side of the tracks.

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“She looked at me like she was relieved that help came. I tried to pull her out of the wheelchair,” Tucker said. “But the train was coming and I had three seconds to dive out of the way.”

A Metra official told Patch that the inbound Rock Island train #126 struck the female pedestrian at the rail crossing. The inbound train was heading to the Washington Heights Metra station when the accident occurred. Trains were delayed several hours until the tracks were cleared around 9:30 a.m.

News media showed the remnants of a wheelchair lying on the train tracks. As of Sunday evening. Metra did not have confirmation if the wheel chair belonged to the pedestrian or if she was in the wheelchair when the crash occurred.

For now, Tucker is wracked with guilt leaving her on the tracks to save himself, with his teenage son watching from the car. Maybe if she had a different type of wheelchair, he could have saved her.

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“I feel like I wasted valuable seconds trying to pull her wheelchair off the trucks,” Tucker said. “I’m going to see if I can take off work. It keeps going through my mind. It’s mental right now.”

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