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Man dies one week after west suburban crash

Sun-Times file photo

A man died Wednesday, a week after his minivan crashed into a train near west suburban Naperville.

Karl E. Slaughterbeck, 55, was driving a 2003 Dodge Caravan minivan east on 111th Street in unincorporated Wheatland Township just before midnight Jan. 1 when he failed to stop at a railroad crossing gate at Normantown Road, according to Will County sheriff’s police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The van crashed into the side of a northbound freight train on the Canadian National tracks, first breaking off the crossing gate, police said. Slaughterbeck was the only person in the van, which was extensively damaged in the front. The crash left with debris scattered around the scene.

Witnesses pulled him out of the vehicle before the inside caught fire, police said. There were no other injuries and no damage to the train.

Slaughterbeck was taken to Edward Hospital in Naperville and later airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he was pronounced dead at 11:26 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

The North Aurora resident died from complications of multiple injuries from a motor vehicle striking a train, and his death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.