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Rail worker killed by train in Waukegan
By Georgia Garvey | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 1/9/2008 1:14 PM | Updated: 1/10/2008 12:24 AM

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A Waukegan man working for the Union Pacific railroad was struck and killed by a commuter train at the Waukegan Metra station Tuesday night, officials said.

John Deutsch, 59, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident about 8:45 p.m., according to Lake County Coroner Richard Keller.

Mark Davis, spokesman for Union Pacific, said Deutsch was throwing a switch to let a northbound Metra train pass when he was hit by another northbound Metra train about 7:30 p.m.

"We immediately then provided peer support, which is our counseling program," Davis said. "This is a very traumatic incident."

Union Pacific, which operates Metra trains over three or four lines, still is investigating the cause of the accident, according to Davis.

He said the company will look into any possible failures in the mechanical, track or human operations.

The company will conduct interviews as part of that investigation, Davis said, but will wait until other employees have been treated for any possible psychological repercussions of the event.

"It may be a while before we go through that interview process," Davis said.

"The Union Pacific employees ... are an extremely close family," he said. "It's a very difficult time."