An elderly Porter
woman died on Wednesday after being struck by a train at the
Norfolk-Southern railroad grade-crossing on North Jackson Blvd.
have identified the victim as Lydia Johnston, 76.
Police Chief Dave
Cincoski gave this account of the incident.
At approximately 3
p.m. Johnston--who lived only a few blocks from the grade-crossing, off
Wagner Road in Downtown Porter--was walking southbound across the tracks,
entering Chesterton, when she was hit by the right front side of an
eastbound freight train.
Johnston was thrown
by the impact and came to rest roughly 10 feet south of the tracks,
unconscious and unresponsive. She was immediately transported from the scene
to Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary, where she subsequently died
of her injuries.
The Lake County
Coronerís Office has listed cause of death as blunt force trauma.
police that Johnston did appear to see the train and was trying to hasten
across the tracks when she was struck, Cincoski said. Her purse was
recovered at the scene.
grade-crossingís gates, lights, and bells were all functioning at the time
of the accident, Cincoski added, and the trainís engineer had sounded the
horn in the approach to the crossing. The 56-car train, outbound from
Chicago, was traveling at 30 miles per hour.
Also responding to
the scene: the Chesterton Fire Department and EMS.
Both the North
Jackson Blvd. and North 15th Street grade-crossings were closed for around
four hours as the accident was being investigated and to allow for the
replacement of the trainís crew.