Barrington fifth-grader hit by train to have more surgeries
Linda Blaser | email@example.com March 18, 2013 3:32PM
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:51AM
BARRINGTON — The 11-year-old boy struck by a southbound Metra train Friday in downtown Barrington was upgraded to stable condition on Sunday at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
The boy, Dominic Szymanski, was scheduled to undergo additional surgeries this week, but “is doing much better,” officials in Barrington School District 220 reported Monday afternoon. Szymanski is a fifth-grader at Hough Elementary School.
“His condition is stable, but doctors now ask that the extent of his injuries remain discreet until he can be informed in a caring and careful way,” Jeff Arnett, spokesman for Barrington School District 220, said late Saturday.
The district removed reference to the nature of Szymanski’s injuries from its social media sites out of concern that classmates or friends may try to communicate with him directly.
“Few people survive a train accident,” Arnett said. “He is extremely fortunate and the family is grateful for the outpouring of support since (Friday) night.”
At about 6:05 p.m. Friday, Szymanski was crossing the rail tracks of the Union Pacific Northwest line at Hough Street just north of Lake-Cook Road when he was struck by a southbound train en route to the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago. Szymanski was believed to be on his way to or from the Celtic Festival at Cook Street Plaza at the time of the accident.
According to Arnett, Barrington police reported that he’d waited for another train to pass but his view of a train coming from the other direction was obscured.
“He started across the tracks after the first train passed and was struck by the second train on the opposite track,” Arnett said.
Several witnesses rushed to provide first aid until paramedics arrived.
Hough School principal Lori Wilcox said teachers shared information about the accident with students at the beginning of the school day on Monday. She added that Szymanski’s classmates are glad he is OK and they can’t wait to see him back at school.
“For the most part, what we did communicate with students is that he is in the hospital and getting great care,” Wilcox said. “We really focused on the positive with our students.
“Some students yesterday dropped off a basket of cards and balloons.”
While Szymanski has been upgraded to stable condition, he’s likely to remain in the hospital for additional procedures.
“Dominic is expected to remain in the hospital for several days but is hoping to return to school as soon as he is able,” Arnett said.
--Staff writer Bridget O’Shea contributed.