Husband watches as wife struck and killed by Metra train

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Imagine the horror of watching your spouse take off on foot and become the victim of a fatal accident right before your very eyes.

This morning around 7:30 a.m., 56-year-old Gail Przybyla was on her way to work at a Bensenville day care center when she and her husband found themselves waiting for a train to cross the tracks.

She was but 20 feet from her workplace front door when she opened the door of the car and ran for it, trying to beat the train on foot.

Her husband begged her to stop, but she insisted.

She was blindsided by an express train as her husband sat behind the wheel of his car and waited to see if she made it to the other side safely.

Gail Przybyla was pronounced dead at the scene.

Todd Przybyla describes his wife as the most kind and loving women he’s ever known. He wants others to learn from his tragedy saying that waiting 20 more seconds for a train to pass should be the only option.

He said taking a risk to run for it “is not worth your life.”

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  • Jcs

    Where the compassion for a lost life, a wife a mother. I can't believe these comments. Prayers to the family that lost a wife, mother.

  • MWS

    I don’t know, it is kind of hard to feel bad for someone who was so blatantly stupid. At 56 years of age you should KNOW to wait until the trains have cleared the track. Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Teddy Roosevelt

      I agree, who would think a 56 yo woman would just jump out of the car and run across the tracks….I feel bad for the family, but, just another case of how stupid our society is becoming….I wouldn't doubt she was talking on a cell or texting while she was doing this…

  • Sara

    Seriously people that story makes NO sense! Why would a grown woman get out of her car and race a train? And the husband would just sit in the car and watch? Clearly there are serious details missing here.

    • Stefanie

      Sadly, I see this every single day at my Metra stop. Same guy, every day, runs across the tracks to beat the train. He's been repeatedly yelled at by the conductors to no avail. It's a heartstopper every morning – and this guy is well over 50.

      I work at a hospital, and can say with certainty – the train always wins.

  • Jess

    She was right by work, probably running late and didn't want to wait for a train. She thought it was far enough away, got out and tried to run and beat it. Idk what the questions are about here?

  • Tammy

    Some of you are the most insensitive people I have come across in a long time. She made a mistake and paid for it with her life. Her husband is telling the story so other people would learn. We have all been in a hurry and have taking chances in life. I pray for her and her family. I am sure she was a great person.

    • Really?

      How about her being so selfish. She's not going to listen to him and do what she wants. Now he is the one left dealing with her mistake. Real considerate.

      • Carolyn

        I don't think it was a matter of her being selfish – it was a matter of making a rash decision that turned out to be a fatal one! Didn't you ever make a mistake you wish you could take back? Well, she can't it back – she's dead. Have a heart and pray for her husband instead of bashing his dead wife. Thanks, bye!

      • Dee

        …so far I've never made a mistake that cost me my life….and I'm 57…so I've been more successful than this woman….

  • Zaffa1234

    Well, yes it is a loss and we all feel, but I have a GF that does things like that all the time. Then she argues all the time, well i was just this, i was just that, well i thought this, well if i had thought it was important, blah blah blah. So hes sitting there trying to get her to listen to reason, and she won't. whos fault is it? SHe is running from him? The RR? I mean lets put blame where blame should be put and listen to the Husband message, please women, have a little common sense and listen, dont argue.

  • Carolyn

    My heart goes out to her husband and their entire family. This was not a suicide – it was a fatal mistake and I'm sure if she had it to do over again she wouldn't do it! I agree – she should have just waited the 2 minutes and she would still have her life. I've been a commuter for the past 7 years and honestly, I'm afraid to cross the tracks even when the gates are up! I cringe every time. I can't imagine trying to beat a train like that. May she rest in peace and may her husband and family try and find peace from this horrific incident!

  • Mike

    Doesnt it only take like 5 seconds max to cross a train track on foot….The train was closer than the time it takes to get across and she didnt know it?

    • Emily

      She was most likely trying to beat a train going one direction slowly and wasn't able to see that an express train was coming from the other direction. It happens all the time. People see the one train , stopped or slowing for the station and think that is the only reason the gates are down.

  • Slick 1

    Seems strange…. can't judge train speed on a straight track??? She gets out of car runs in front of to avoid being a couple minutes late???? not a 20 minute freight train… An 8 car express train..My prays and thoughts although believe more to story. If my wife just died wouldn't be all of sudden train advocate on the news unless I knew something was awry and trying to calm everyone. Again I wasn't there though.

  • REALLY??

    "She was BUT 20 FEET (my emphasis) from her workplace front door when she opened the door of the car and ran for it…"

    Really?? Unless the "Bensenville day care center" she worked at was located BETWEEN the 2 train tracks at that crossing, I think whoever made this statement has as poor a sense of spacial perception as that of the of "the VICTIM(?) of (this) fatal accident…"

    (…Note to self: make sure kids' day care facility has entrance A SAFE DISTANCE from speeding trains…)

  • Emily

    She was most likely trying to beat a train going one direction slowly and wasn't able to see that an express train was coming from the other direction. It happens all the time. People see the one train , stopped or slowing for the station and think that is the only reason the gates are down.

  • Tired of the Morons

    "She was but 20 feet from her workplace front door" Really, did you even see the area. There is nothing that close to the track except a train station. Dumbass!

  • Mel

    I am sorry but that was just plain stupid, a grown adult should have known better! Stupid move, now her family has to suffer…

  • Marci

    I cannot believe the insensitive comments here. Regardless of the circumstances, a woman lost her life. Show some compassion.

  • Not Surprised

    This behavior of people thinking they can beat a train is so FRUSTRATING!! For many years I commuted downtown and everyday the horn would sound and some idiot was racing for his life to catch a train….Metra has the best campaign for this: I'd rather be 20 seconds late in this life, than 20 seconds early for my next life. You know who I feel sorry for? The engineer. She has left guilt and pain on the poor person driving this train that will forever be tatooed on their memory, My engineer used to kick people off who dodged the train to get a seat, Very sad story, but if you play with fire, you will get burned.