A 56-year-old Bensenville woman rushing to get a head start on her day at the early learning center where she worked was struck and killed by a Metra train Thursday morning, her husband said.
"I practically begged her not to go," Todd Pryzbyla said of his wife, Gail Pryzbyla.
The center was just steps west of the tracks near Addison Street, and with the gates down and the railroad lights on, Pryzbyla said his wife said she'd make a run for it. He says he tried to stop her.
"I looked and saw the train was an express train, and I thought to myself, 'Oh, my God,'" he recalled.
He lost sight of her and his worst fears were realized when he looked down the tracks.
"I was afraid to go down. It was 20 feet there and she was in the middle of the tracks. I don't want to even say what I saw," he said.
Metra says it was an inbound Milwaukee Line train 2218 that struck her at about 7:30 a.m., causing a 70 minute delay. No one on the train was injured.
Colleagues at Pryzbyla's daycare center were devastated. They said the woman had worked there for several years.
"She was so nice," said Salma Yousuf. "She was totally a caring and loving person."