Woman struck, killed by MetroLink train was animal rescuer

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SWANSEA, IL (KPLR) - A 58-year-old Shiloh woman was struck and killed by a  MetroLink train Friday morning while walking on the tracks between the Belleville and Swansea stations, according to Swansea police.   The victim, identified as Sandie Konopelski, was a wildlife-rescue volunteer who was responding to a call for an animal on the tracks.

According to officials with the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline,  Konopelski got a call from MetroLink asking her remove an opossum from the train tracks near the Swansea MetroLink Station. It's something she had done many times in the past, but this time her foot got stuck in the train tracks and she couldn't break free in time to avoid an oncoming train.

Metro shut down train traffic between the two stations for about two hours while the incident was investigated.

Konopelski had been with the wildlife rescue agency since 2011 and served her community as a licensed wildlife rescuer for more than 20 years.