Chesterton Tribune



Toddler dies after being hit by train in Portage; sister injured

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A 3-year-old boy was killed on Tuesday after being struck by a freight train and his 2-year-old sister seriously injured, after Portage Police said that they may have snuck out of their residence in the Woodland Village Mobile Home Park to play near the railroad tracks.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris identified the boy as Caleb Wilson, who was pronounced dead at the scene. A forensic autopsy was scheduled for today.

Caleb’s sister was airlifted to Comers Children’s Hospital in Chicago by the University of Chicago Aeromedical Network.

According to a statement released by Portage Police Chief Troy Williams, officers responded to Woodland Village, at 5757 U.S. Highway 20, at 9:36 a.m., following a report that a CSX freight train had struck a toddler. Officer Laura Lightfoot, first on the scene, discovered Caleb deceased and his sister “actively crying” but with “visible injuries.”

Two sets of CSX tracks run parallel to the southern end of Woodland Village, located south of U.S. 20 and west of Willowcreek Road.

“Initial indications” are that the two children “snuck out a screen door of their residence,” in the 500 block of Woodland Village, “and made their way to the CSX tracks,” Williams said. “The conductor advised that when he observed them on the tracks he blew his horn and attempted to brake, but was unable to stop before striking the toddlers.”

The accident remains under investigation.

“I want to emphasize the exceptional teamwork by the police and fire personnel on scene who worked to stabilize the 2-year-old, move her to the ambulance, and then onto the UCAN helicopter,” Williams said. “This tragedy undeniably affected the first responders, as several were visibly shaken by what occurred but worked through these emotions to provide every possible resource and effort throughout the entire incident.”

Assisting Portage Police and Fire at the scene were the Burns Harbor and Ogden Dunes PDs, the Indiana State Police, the CSX Railroad Police, and Porter County Central Communications 911.

“The Porter County Coroner’s Office would like to remind parents of small children to please keep a vigilant eye on their children during these summer months when they are more likely to roam outside,” Harris said.


Posted 8/8/2018




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