SWANSEA, Ill. – The Old Caseyville Road MetroLink crossing has now become a memorial for 52-year-old Jennifer McDonnell.
McDonnell was hit by a MetroLink train just before 11 a.m. Sunday in Swansea while out with her dog. The Swansea Police Department pronounced McDonnell dead on the scene.
Pink balloons and flowers now sit along the tracks where the accident happened.
“I’m pretty sure I had seen her several times here,” said Steve Knapp, a Belleville resident.
Knapp walks and runs the trail along the train tracks regularly.
“We would meet wave, and that’s about it,” he said.
Knapp had lived in the area for over 30 years and had heard of trains colliding with cars but never a person.
The CEO of Bi-State Development, the company in charge of MetroLink, said that the train crossing gates were working and that the train driver had tried to stop before hitting McDonnell.
“It’s definitely a sad story,” said Larry Smithmier, a Shiloh resident. “I don’t like to hear anything like that happening anywhere.”
Smithmier rides the MetroLink and said the accident will make him more careful when crossing the tracks.
“Hearing something like that, I’d be more cautious, definitely,” Smithmier said.
Knapp said the same.
“You got to believe, I’m more conscious,” he said.