Police Confirm Man Committed Suicide in Train vs Car Accident

Mount Pleasant police are confirming the driver of the car struck by an Amtrak train drove down the tracks, forcing the collision that killed him.

**Updated 8:03 p.m.

A 29-year-old Franksville man who was killed Tuesday afternoon when the car he was driving was struck by an Amtrak passenger train .

"According to our preliminary investigation, a train was traveling northbound, and the car was traveling southbound in between the two tracks," MPPD Chief Tim Zarzecki said. "The train tried to stop ... unfortunately they still collided, and that crash resulted in the death of the lone occupant of the vehicle."

Authorities have not released the identity of the victim, but family members told Patch it was Ben Glaeser. They said he was suffering from depression and other mental illnesses, and likely parked his car on the tracks to commit suicide.

Amannda Olmstead, who said she was Glaeser's girlfriend, told Patch the couple lived together near the accident scene. Amannda's mother, Jannelle Otto, also confirmed that Glaeser suffered from mental illness and that he just recently lost his job at Walgreen's on Lathrop Avenue after eight years with the company.

Multiple units from South Shore and Caledonia fire departments responded at about 2:20 p.m. for reports of an Amtrak train hitting a vehicle at the Kraut Road railroad crossing in Franksville.

Kraut Road in both directions remained shut down as of 4 p.m.

A representative from Amtrak confirmed there was a car on the tracks "near Sturtevant. There are no injuries to passengers or crew, but the train is delayed."

The train was northbound, heading toward Milwaukee when it struck a car sitting on the tracks, according to our media partners at WISN 12 News.

Mount Pleasant police Lt. Scott Geyer said nobody else was injured in the accident.

"Upon arrival our officers discovered one car sitting on the tracks. The male driver had to be extricated, but we do not know the extent of his injuries," he told Patch soon after the crash.

Flight for Life was called to the scene and landed at Haban Park. 

This is the second accident in less than a year involving an Amtrak train on the Hiawatha Line between Milwaukee and Chicago. Last summer, Jocelyn Flashinski died after she stepped in front of a train in Caledonia.

Patch will update this story as more details become available.

Caledonia Retiree May 16, 2013 at 10:55 PM
It's sad that this poor man decided to take his own life. What's even sadder is the method he chose which subjected many passengers and Amtrak employees to experience his demise first hand. At least he didn't choose a method that could have harmed anyone else. My only question which to date remains unanswered is just WHY he lost his job at Walgreens which seems to be what caused him to make this decision. Considering how the media loves to sensationalize (as evidenced by the wall-to-wall coverage with many pictures) these stories, I'm surprised someone didn't reveal this detail.
Candy Peterson May 18, 2013 at 01:11 PM
I have talked to this young man while shopping at Walgreens. He was always polite and helpful. This is just another reminder to us all to always be kind and understanding to others. You don't know the pain in their personal lives. A very close relative of mine commit suicide years ago. There is no way of knowing. My sympathies to the family.
Conservativa May 20, 2013 at 12:26 PM
I have lost two beautiful and talented, incredible women to suicide. One long ago and one more recently. How anyone can judge or condemn other human being in light of these circumstances is beyond me. Yes, suicide is a selfish act, but we will never understand the immense pain that would push a person to go there. Please try to show mercy from a basic place of love for another person. Otherwise perhaps try to ponder why, you have hate coming from your own inability to have even the slightest bit of compassion for the lost soul or family of the victim.
skinnyDUDE May 20, 2013 at 03:37 PM
This person made his choice.find Sad the pain he felt he had overtook his reason to live. On his personal case, I can certainly have sympathy to his family and friends. Clearly,the culture itself has become more deranged from a mental stand point. Society has shifted from a Family society which is about "US " to a "ME" society which is about "YOU". The danger in that is it tends to have people's minds focus on what others have and what they don't . Than to attach daily short comings to their own existance. The result is a focus on personal pain. We have more people depressed not due to actual mental illness , but living life with the worst possible perspective. Life is full of ups and downs . We can all kick ourselves in the valleys of life because we get down . Depression is still far more about a bad prolonged painful perspective than actual mental defect. Just as many in the nation eat in a unhealthy way and we see the bad results , If the citizens have a unhealthy view of the world on a daily basis the unseen poor and unhealthy results will derive in a depressed mind. i have known a few who have killed themselves. It is depression that gets them when they live in their perceived pain as their focus leaves the blessings of life itself. It is certainly alarming trend.
Jassen Sanders June 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM
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