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Death of man killed by train in Westmont last month ruled accidental

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 10:55 a.m. CDT

WESTMONT – The death of a 31-year-old Hickory Hills man struck by a train in Westmont last month has been ruled accidental.

Eric Bennett was killed March 7 along the Burlington Northern/ Santa Fe rail line at the Cass Avenue railroad crossing after he disobeyed train signals and was struck by an eastbound train, according to DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen.

"Witnesses on the scene said the arms were down over the track and the lights were flashing," Jorgensen said. "There was no indication of suicide or that he intentionally did this."

Bennett was leaning over to light a cigarette when he was "clipped" by the train, Jorgensen said witnesses recounted.

"Witnesses said he put his head down to light a cigarette and he was clipped as he leaned down," he said. "It's a very weird kind of explanation as to why he was leaning down, whether he was being bravado or whatever, but he did."

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