Islander John Versnel, a senior at Loyola University in Chicago, died tragically early Saturday morning when he fell off a Chicago elevated train platform and onto an electrified rail.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Versnel was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston at 1:29 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Minutes earlier, police said he fell onto the tracks at the Loyola Red Line station near the university.
Chicago Transit Authority spokesman Brian Steele said he believed Versnel had lost his balance or moved too far on the platform and fell onto the tracks, according to the Chicago Tribune. The death was caused, Steele said, by making contact with the third rail and not by a moving train. Police also believe the fall was accidental. Another report suggested he’d been out with friends earlier that evening when he exited a train at the station, bumped into a pillar on the platform and stumbled onto the electrified third rail.
Versnel attended St. Monica's Parish School from kindergarten through 8th grade, then attended nearby parochial school Seattle Prep in Seattle, where he graduated in 2009.
He is survived by his father and mother, John and Suzanne Versnel and younger sisters, Margaret and Annie, all of Mercer Island.
(Ed. Note: This article was updated with new information and edited for clarity.)