A Westland, Mich., woman was killed after being struck by a South Shore
commuter train early this morning, in what the NICTD Transit Police are
investigating as a suicide.
The woman was identified as Sharon Spitler, 56.
Transit Police Chief Bob Byrd gave this account of the incident to the
Chesterton Tribune. Sometime on Sunday Spitler checked into Al & Sallyís
Motel at 3221 W. Dunes Highway (U.S. Highway 12) in Pine Township and paid
through today. Around 6:40 a.m. today Spitler ran from the rear of the hotel
to the South Shore right-of-way, about 75 feet to the north, entered the
track area as westbound Train 12 was approaching, stood between the rails,
turned her back to the oncoming train, and crouched.
Spitler was struck and killed.
Spitler apparently left no note, Byrd said, and investigators found nothing
of evidentiary value in her room, including no drugs or alcohol.
Train 12 was delayed by around 85 minutes and Train 112, following it, by a
similar margin, NICTD spokesman John Parsons said.
The incident primarily interrupted service between South Bend and Gary,
Parsons added, since NICTD was able to run a train in Train 12ís place west
from Gary, in addition to a regularly scheduled departure from Gary.
Regular service between South Bend and Gary was resumed around 7:31 a.m.