Another Tragedy at Rail Crossing Retired Library Employee Killed by Train While Crossing Tracks

By Tate, Alysia | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 10, 1996 | Go to article overview
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Another Tragedy at Rail Crossing Retired Library Employee Killed by Train While Crossing Tracks


Tate, Alysia, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Alysia Tate Daily Herald Staff Writer

The unfinished quilt she planned to donate to the Palatine Public Library is just one indication of what mattered to Phyllis Sevigny.

And as the brightly colored fabric swatches lay on her couch, the husband of the former Palatine library employee said he could hardly believe these were her last stitches.

It was on her way to purchase fabric for that very quilt that Sevigny, 68, was killed about 8:10 a.m. Thursday at the Palatine commuter station, 225 W. Colfax St. The Union Pacific express train was bound for Chicago.

Palatine Police Cmdr. Tom Smith said Sevigny apparently never saw the train coming as she crossed the tracks to board a west-bound train to Woodstock, the home of two of her favorite fabric stores.

All of the warning lights, bells and crossing gates were functioning properly at the time, he said.

"It wasn't a matter of her darting out in front of the train," Smith said. "She just never saw the train that was eastbound."

Sevigny may be most remembered as a 20-year Palatine Public Library employee who was once head of the adult services section. She retired about three years ago, according to her husband, Allen, 69.

But Sevigny remained active in several of the library's book clubs, on top of her involvement at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Palatine.

The couple also enjoyed traveling, particularly to England.

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