Eyewitness account of Loyola CTA platform suicide
Further update: Brian, who originally shared this story with us, emailed me to say that Chicago Police have indeed classified this death as a suicide. So sad. Brian's account is below:
A CTA Tattler reader posted a comment here last night with an eyewitness account of the suicide at the Loyola Red Line stop that stopped train traffic for almost an hour last night. Thanks to Brian for reporting the somewhat gruesome details:
Unfortunately, this story has already been seen on news stations... and reported incorrectly until later tonight.
A lady just jumped. I was standing merely 50 feet from her. The whole thing was surreal, and as of this moment, I don't know if I still fully comprehend what I saw.
I was walking up the escalator to the southbound platform at the Loyola el-stop as I had done hundreds of times before. Class was out at the University and myself and two friends were discussing a recent study/brainstorming session.
Thankfully, we had made it to the platform just as the Red Line was coming down the tracks. I remember my friend exclaiming, "Good, just in time." I begin walking down the platform. I look up to see a woman, probably 40 or 50 years old jump to the tracks from the platform.
She falls to her stomach and is immediately struck by the train.
She rolled at first, shot forward by the wheel protectors. And for a split second I thought she might live through her suicide attempt.
But then, eventually, despite the best efforts of the train operator she was taken under and run over by the trains wheels.
The train operator was badly shaken when she exited the train, and people in the area tried to console her. The only thing anybody could think was the words that the operator kept screaming amidst her sobs, "She just jumped!"
The vision that will stick with me about this event will not be the badly mangled body that I futilely jumped down to the tracks to try and help.
Instead, it will be the look on the woman's face as she first rolled along the tracks. The split second between when she was hit and when she was severed in half by the trains wheels.
She had an expression on her face -- it was almost tranquil. She was resigned to her fate and was very much ready to leave this world.
Her suicide was both gruesome and disturbing, however, if you would have guessed by the expression on her face, she seemed least affected by it. In fact, she never made a single noise during her last moments on earth. It was almost as if she had done this sort of thing before.
I only hope that this is the last time I see something such as this. I think the most frustrating part for those in the vicinity was the fact that it happened so fast, nothing could have been done to help until it was too late.