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updated: 3/16/2013 7:03 PM

Barrington boy hit by train in 'good spirits' despite losing foot

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A Barrington fifth-grader struck by a train Friday lost a foot in the accident but is recovering and in "good spirits," a school official said Saturday.

"It's such a miraculous situation," Barrington Unit District 220 spokesman Jeffrey Arnett said. "Very few people survive a train accident."

The 11-year-old student at Hough Street Elementary School was hit by a Metra train shortly after 6 p.m. Friday as he crossed a set of railroad tracks at Route 59 north of Lake-Cook Road, authorities said.

The boy and some friends were going to or coming from downtown Barrington, where the city's annual Celtic Fest observing St. Patrick's Day was under way, according to Arnett.

After waiting for one train to pass, he said, the victim accidentally stepped in front of another train coming from the opposite direction. His friends stayed with him until paramedics arrived, Arnett said.

The boy, who has not been publicly identified, lost one foot and possibly some toes on the other foot as a result of the accident, according to Arnett. He also was treated for scrapes and bruises.

The accident prompted overwhelming support from community members at Hough Street Elementary School, which is coordinating efforts to help the boy's family through what is expected to be a "substantial" recovery process, Arnett said.

"It's really a close-knit neighborhood school, and a lot of people are rallying around the family," he said. "I think everyone realizes that when he is able to return, it's going to be very inspiring."

Arnett said more than a thousand people were tracking the boy's progress through the district's Facebook page.

"It's been very impressive -- just the volume of people showing their support," he said.

The boy was being treated at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

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