UPDATE: Teen Struck by Train Identified as son of Lake Forest College President

Edward Schutt, 18, was hit by train in early morning hours on Sunday.

5:07 p.m. Sunday, March 25

In an email sent out to the Lake Forest College community by Dean Flot, dean of students at Lake Forest College, confirmed the president's son was the victim struck by a train and killed early Sunday morning.

"Obviously this is a very sad and upsetting situation, and we understand that some support might be helpful. I encourage you to reach out to each other, family, friends, or anyone you feel comfortable speaking with," Flot wrote.

Flot advised LFC students that counselors are available during the week, and after hours at (847) 735-5555.

"Our hearts go out to President Schutt, his wife Lori, and their children William and Mary," Flot wrote.


4:48 p.m. Sunday, March 25

Edward Schutt, who was struck and killed by a Metra train in the early morning hours of Sunday, was the son of Lake Forest College president Stephen Schutt.

The elder Schutt has been president at the college since 2001. Edward was one of three children.

4:10 p.m. Sunday, March 25

In an e-mail to parents, Lake Forest High School principal Jay Hoffman identified the teen struck by a train early this morning as senior Edward Schutt.

"Ed was a talented and bright student and will be missed," Hoffman wrote.

With school out on spring break this coming week, Hoffman indicate students can speak with members of the CROYA staff. CROYA is open 10 a.m.t o 3 p.m. during the week.

Once school resumes April 2, the high school's student support personnel will be available in Room 160J.

Schutt was an honor roll student more than once as noted in the Lake Forest High School report from September of last year. (See Class of 2012: Honor Roll Semester 2, 2010-2011).

As a freshman, Schutt received a Cum Laude award as a second year student taking the National Latin Exam.

1:09 p.m. Sunday, march 25

In a brief press release from Lake Forest Police, the victim is confirmed as being 18 years old.

The name is not being released at the direction of the Lake County Coroner's office.


11:48 a.m. Sunday march 25

Lake Forest blogger Ralph Keen says what many of us are feeling in light of this third train-related death in as many months: Not Again.

Feel free to add your comments.


11:07 a.m., Sunday, March 25

Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said the young male was struck by a train between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

"The train that hit the young man didn't realize it," Davis said in a voicemail.

Davis said Union Pacific officials are attempting to determine what train hit the white male identified only as 18 years old.

The body has not been identified pending notification of relatives.

Davis said their investigation continues.

Lake Forest Deputy Chief Jim Held said they will view Metra video to determine what train hit the young man. "There are not a lot of trains running during that time," Held said.

Railroad service was delayed for approximately 3 hours during the investigation and was restored at approximately 10:30 a.m., according to Lake Forest police.


10:50 am. Sunday, March 25

For the third time in three months, another young man has been hit by a train Sunday morning in Lake Forest.

This time the victim is a white male, in his late teens or early 20s, according to Lake Forest Deputy Chief Jim Held.

Held said police received a call at 7:30 a.m. Sunday from the southbound Union Pacific train saying they had seen "the possibility of a body" near the tracks in the 700 block of South Sheridan Road between Westleigh Avenue and Old Elm Road.

"At this point, we're not sure what time this happened, but it was before 7:30 a.m.," Held said. "There were no witnesses that we are aware of at this time."

The Lake County Coroner's office was on the scene, and cause of death will be determined by them.

This incident follows two others involving Lake Forest High School students, and , both 15. Hussain walked in front of a Metra train Jan. 9 on his way to school and it was later ruled a suicide by the Lake County Coroner's office.

Laskero-Teskoski's was also struck by a southbound train Feb. 28 on his way to school. The official cause of death has not been released by the coroner's office.

Lake Forest-Lake Buff Patch will continue to update this story as information is released.

For more news and updates from Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch, “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Marla Olson March 25, 2012 at 11:29 PM
So sad.
Vicky Kujawa March 26, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I am heartsick for all of the LFHS families struck by tragedy this year, and have them in my prayers.
The Q March 26, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Why are these kids commiting suicide?
GC March 26, 2012 at 02:08 AM
My heart goes out to Edward's family. I hope Stephen, Lori, William and Mary can take comfort in knowing Edward was loved by many, many friends, especially Megan and Patrick. We all grieve for the loss of this beloved friend. I wish the Schutts can take comfort in these words: remember all the good memories of him. Remember the sad ones too as those are the ones where he comforted them. One day much, much later in life, all of you will see him again. Please know that he is in heaven and will watch over all of you. He will keep all of you safe. You will see him throughout your lives with those memories you had together for the short time before this very, very sad day. From this moment forward, everytime the Schutts sees his friends, they will see their son. We all must be supportive to help them through this extremely difficult day. Send them cards, flowers, food to show them how much we all cherished Edward. Remember the Schutts in your prayers. Most of all, do not forget Edward, as he was a beloved friend, neighbor, class mate.
Dave Roberts March 26, 2012 at 03:37 AM
I agree, and so does my roommate...Tragedies for LFHS families...Trains...Cars...
David Greenberg March 26, 2012 at 04:49 AM
This is a terrible situation to be certain - however, the bigger question is "WHY ARE PEOPLE ON THE TRAIN TRACKS?". Fences and other technological issues aren't going to keep people off the tracks if they want to be there - so we need to understand the psychological issues first. I'm not saying anyone is suicidal - but perhaps over-confident in their ability to move faster than a locomotive.
Anonymous March 26, 2012 at 05:18 AM
That's the most insensitive thing I've read today. If you're going to speculate on their deaths, please save that for later. And if you're going to speculate at all, please don't hypothesize in a way that undermines their intelligence.
David Greenberg March 26, 2012 at 06:25 AM
What's insensitive about what I said? I said its a terrible situation. I didn't speculate on their deaths - I asked WHY they were on the tracks - that's a valid question. As to psychological issues: More about WHY they were on the tracks. Simple bad decision to walk on the tracks, some teen game gone wrong, or something else? Three kids have died recently because of train v. person. One is too much, but we need to understand WHY it's happening before we can work to prevent it from occurring again. If you don't ask questions, you'll never know why, and the problem will never get better. I'd like to know why - not to be macabre - but so that I can help to keep my friends and family safe.
Richard Hertz March 26, 2012 at 07:11 AM
They may have gotten a B or C on a test, they broke up with their girlfriend over some small fight or they didn't get into the college of their choice. No one knows, but there are signs that people have look for or listen to them. Depression and Bi-Polar are the number one psychological disorders that people suffer from and if they stop taking their meds, anything could happen. Some signs to look for are: -They don't want to participate in events that they used to do strongly in the past. -They talk about dying or killing themselves, but a lot of people think they are joking around until it is to late. The people are crying inside for help, but they are afraid to ask for it. Please look and listen for the signs so we can keep everyone safe!
Kelly McInerney March 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM
God Bless the child and his family. There is no greater tragedy. Keep them in your prayers and your kindness and support.
Gary March 26, 2012 at 03:21 PM
From http://www.suicide.org/suicide-warning-signs.html: It should be noted that some people who die by suicide do not show any suicide warning signs. But about 75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs, so we need to be aware of what the suicide warning signs are and try to spot them in people. If we do see someone exhibiting suicide warning signs, we need to do everything that we can to help them. If you or someone you know exhibits several of the suicide warning signs listed below, immediate action is required, so please read the information on the home page of this website and take action. * Appearing depressed or sad most of the time (Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.) * Talking or writing about death or suicide * Withdrawing from family and friends * Feeling hopeless * Feeling helpless * Feeling strong anger or rage * Feeling trapped -- like there is no way out of a situation * Experiencing dramatic mood changes * Abusing drugs or alcohol * Exhibiting a change in personality * Acting impulsively * Losing interest in most activities * Experiencing a change in sleeping habits * Experiencing a change in eating habits * Losing interest in most activities * Performing poorly at work or in school *Giving away prized possessions * Writing a will * Feeling excessive guilt or shame * Acting recklessly
Really? March 26, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Whatever the reason, this community has lost another child. These parents are suffering the ultimate horror. His brother and sister are suffering his loss - and experiencing the devastation of their parents. Our hearts, thoughts and energy need to be with this family right now.
Gary March 26, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Please excuse my business-like approach to this distressing issue. Some people grieve. I look for causes and solutions. Based on my research regarding the national averages, the suicide rate for a high school the size of Lake Forest would be about 1 every 7 years. We are now on a rate that is approximately 80x worse than the national average. For anyone who was wondering about the scale of our problem, that should put it in perspective. Our community needs to pull together and find the solution to this.
Robert T March 26, 2012 at 04:16 PM
We can never build enough fences or tunnels to solve this problem.
Really? March 26, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Absolutely Gary. I wholeheartedly agree we need to address this as a community. Thank you for making us all aware of the statistical disparity we have here.
Matt March 26, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Maine West HS in Des Plainest has suffered six deaths in the last 11 months. Clearly something is tragically amiss in the 'burbs.
Sherrie March 26, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Our children are sending us a very loud message. May we through the grace of God hear what they are trying to tell us. We want to help but we need to figure out where the pain is coming from inside our youth.
Lisa March 26, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Well said Sherrie, and I agree with you. We need to give the children a way to voice their pain. Does anyone have any ideas?
David Greenberg March 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Talk to your children. Offer to listen. If they don't want to talk to you, give them the number of a good psychologist, and pay for it. Agree not to get angry - no matter what it is. Just listen, then craft a solution - which may be more listening.
Heather Topel March 27, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Please do not speculate without knowing all of the facts. A train accident does not automatically mean these young people committed suicide. I'm so sorry for the loss suffered by the family and friends of these students.
The Q March 27, 2012 at 02:45 AM
This is the question......why is this happening in a communtiy that has all the resources to stop it. Very sad for so many reasons.
Leon Bradley March 27, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I am an LFC alumnus and my heart goes out to President Schutt and his family, and to the LFC family. It amazes me and I find it unconscionable that a wealthy town like Lake Forest has not done more to block access to the tracks given this succession of tragedies.
Jim Powers March 27, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Hi Leon. Thanks for your comment. I really think the conversation needs to stay on what the community can do to help families with troubled kids versus building a fence or wall around the railroad tracks. There are literally hundreds of paths leading up to the train tracks up and down the line, so putting up a barrier does not really address the problem.
Gary March 27, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Our current situation is so far outside the bounds of the expected statistical norm, that it qualifies as a "suicide cluster", or a string of "copycat suicides". This is known as the "Werther effect", which is a theory that the more public attention is paid to a suicide, the more copycats there will be. It is just a theory, but one that can not be ignored. If true, then the public debate, discussion in school, this article, and even my own comments... may all be contributing to the problem. The leaders, and journalists in our community need to educate themselves on this topic immediately to make sure we proceed down the right path. Based on what I know, my advice would be to shut down the public debate immediately, de-emphasize this issue in the schools, and gather concerned adults behind closed doors to find a long term solution. This is one case where open discussion and "transparency" may actually BE the problem.
David Greenberg March 27, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Technological solutions aren't going to solve the problem. Fences can be climbed, tunneled under, or cut to make an opening. Sometimes they get damaged through natural causes, and pedestrians take advantage of that. There's a ton of signs all over the place too. The problem is something else. Either it's kids committing suicide, or doing something else that went horribly wrong and they died as a result. Regardless, talking with the kids is a great start. Educating them about the extreme dangers of trains is another. But finding out WHY they were on the tracks in the first place is key to preventing recurrences.
Really? March 27, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Gary, I'm not sure I agree with you on your above analysis. Based on my own experience, as a survivor of sibling suicide, one of the most difficult hurdles in recovery was the feeling of isolation. Support and reassurance of "it's not your fault" needs to be conveyed. Many will be experiencing these feelings. We have a great community of professionals that can guide us, I think. Will someone please step forward?
Gary March 27, 2012 at 07:19 PM
The right actions for consoling survivors may not be the right ones to stop the next event.
Steve March 28, 2012 at 01:01 AM
First off people, where did this article or any of the others say this was a suicide? It happened in the very early hours of the morning and it was likley very dark. The point here is this happened in an area that has a bike path almost imediately next to the tracks. This very well could have been a terible accident. We are drawing very hurtful conclusions here at a time when a family has lost their son, and brother. Perhaps we need to be a bit more compassionate and not assume anything. The family needs to grieve and to try to make sense of this tragedy. If it is yet another suicide, yes it would be terrible as nobody should feel the only resolve to a problem is to die. Life is far to precious a gift. We, the public, need to stop being so negative about our future, within the media and our daily lives. Times are tough, but perhaps it is time to stop complaining and giving these kids a dreary outlook about life ahead and start adopting an attitude of when things get tough the tough get going!! Bottom line is stop dwelling on negativity, start focusing on the posistive, and in this case, don't draw conclusions that could hurt the innocent family more than they are already suffering.
The Q March 28, 2012 at 01:55 AM
You can hear a train coming.........come on. What postive comes from this? We speak to stop the next event.
ChiTownRunnr March 28, 2012 at 09:05 AM
We cannot imagine why someone would want to commit suicide because we are fortunate not to suffer from a mental illness. I am not a professional but I do have a teenage family member who suffers from this terrible disease. I believe that the biggest issue limiting our ability to slow the suicide rate is that we do not recognize quickly enough (or at all) the signs and symptoms of mental illness. If we truly wish to minimize these all too frequent events, we must learn to talk about the illness. A significant percentage of those with a severe mental illness will attempt suicide and many of those will succeed. I speak to many people each day who simply refuse to accept mental illness as a disease. If your child was suffering from cancer, you would go to any length necessary to get them treatment. Help is available and treatment does help. We need to remove the stigma associated with this terrible disease. If any good can come from these tragedies it must be that we start the conversation.


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