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Chicago suburb to add more crossing guards after teen killed by Metra train

Chicago suburb hiring more crossing guards after teen killed by train
Chicago suburb hiring more crossing guards after teen killed by train 00:42

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Village of Barrington is set to add four more crossing guards at four intersections near Barrington High School, and the rate paid to crossing guards is going up $4 per hour.

The village board approved the funding for the new crossing guards last month, and a contract amendment approved on Monday will provide pay raises to recruit for the latest open positions and to fill existing vacancies.

The pay raise will bring the hourly pay for crossing guards in Barrington up from $16 an hour to $20 an hour. The move comes months following  the death of 17-year-old Marin Lacson, who was hit and killed by a Metra train while on her way to school in January.

Since the accident, a group of Barrington residents formed the Barrington Student Safey Organization, and has been volunteering at the railroad crossing where she died. That group also pressured the village to increase pay and put crossing guards at railroad lines during crucial school crossing hours.

Roma Khan, founder of the Barrington Student Safety Organization, said the goal is to improve safety measures at railroad crossings following Lacson's death.

Marin Lacson Family Photo

Police said Marin crossed the tracks at Hough and Main streets after one train passed. Marin did not see another train coming from the other direction. She was hit by that train and killed.

Witnesses said the gates were down – but the crossing does not have gates over the sidewalk.

In February, Barrington officials announced plans to improve rail safety in the area. Village officials said more officers would be deployed at rail crossings at critical times to remind pedestrians about the rules.

Additional railroad signs and pavement markings were mounted near pedestrian rail crossings as needed. 

Following discussions with the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois Department of Transportation, Barrington police said those agencies agreed to set up additional pedestrian gates at Union Pacific crossing at Hough Street and Cook and Main streets.

Underpasses are also being constructed to replace crossings. The village said an underpass at Route 14 and the Canadian National tracks would remove the intersection of train tracks, roads, and pedestrian paths.

Federal funding has also been secured for an underpass to replace the grade crossing at Main Street and the CN tracks – where many Barrington High School students cross, the village said.

Barrington has also asked the Illinois Commerce Commission for a pedestrian gate on Hough and Main Streets. According to Village President Karen Darch, a pedestrian gate should be installed within a year.

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