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Maple Park police expect answers soon in train death

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 10:24 p.m. CDT
(Al Lagattolla –
Flowers and a balloon sit June 4 near the southwest segment of the intersection of Main and Liberty streets in Maple Park. On May 31, 14-year-old Parker Wolfsmith died near the intersection after he was hit by a train.

MAPLE PARK – By next week, Maple Park police Chief Mike Acosta expects to have a clearer picture about what happened the night 14-year-old Parker Wolfsmith died after he was hit by a train.

Acosta said the thought is that Wolfsmith “had the tendency to stay close to the trains when they came by. He liked doing that.”

He said it doesn’t appear that it was a case where the teen was taking a “selfie” – a self-portrait using a smartphone or similar device – near the train.

“I think we’re pretty close to closing it out,” Acosta said. “We just want to verify it by looking at the video.”

The incident took place about 9:30 p.m. May 31 at the North Liberty Street railroad crossing in Maple Park. Acosta said he plans to view the video from the train June 18 with a representative from Union Pacific.

Visitation services took place Friday for Wolfsmith. According to Wolfsmith’s obituary, a memorial has been established in his name. Checks may be made to the “Parker Wolfsmith Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may be forwarded to the same address or on the Web at

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