Mich. woman fatally struck by South Shore train in The Pines

2013-09-25T12:22:00Z 2013-09-25T23:36:09Z Mich. woman fatally struck by South Shore train in The PinesLauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

THE PINES | A pedestrian was struck and killed by a South Shore commuter train in The Pines at the start of the morning rush Wednesday.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said the death was ruled a suicide.

According to John Parsons, spokesman for the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, the incident occurred at 6:35 a.m. when westbound Train No. 12 passed the former Kansas Avenue track crossing just west of Central Avenue.

The woman was identified as Sharon Spitler, 57, of Westland, Mich., according to NICTD Transit Police Chief Bob Byrd. Westland is about halfway between Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.

Harris said Spitler had been staying at a motel along U.S. 12 and checked out Wednesday morning.

Harris said Spitler approached the train from the south side of the tracks behind the hotel, stood in front of the approaching train, turned her back to it and crouched down before being struck.

She died instantly, he said.

Parsons said a crew was sent to relieve the conductor and crew of the train involved in the accident. The South Shore was delayed by about two hours.

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