More questions than answers after Dubuque woman hit by train - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More questions than answers after Dubuque woman hit by train

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Dubuque Police say they have more questions than answers after a Dubuque woman was hit by a train early Sunday morning.

Police responded shortly before 5:30 a.m. to a report of a woman being hit by a train on the tracks near Rhomberg Ave. and Hawthorne St. in Dubuque's Eagle Point District.

18-year-old Ellie McIntyre was talking to first responders on the scene, police say, and was taken to a nearby hospital.  From there, she was flown to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where she was in the surgical intensive care unit early Monday.

Police originally told KWWL they believed McIntyre may have been assaulted, but later said they couldn't confirm that, or if there was any criminal aspect to their investigation.

"There are a lot of unknowns with this," said Lt. Scott Baxter with the Dubuque Police. "We're not sure of her specific condition at the time, whether she was immobile for some reason, so, a lot of unanswered questions so far in this investigation, but we're continuing to work on it."

But unlike many cases of a person being hit by a train, Baxter does expect to fill in many of the details after McIntyre recovers enough to talk to police.

"A lot of times, the big question is why did it happen, how did it happen," Baxter said. "And sometimes we don't get those answers because the person was killed. In this case, that hasn't happened, and we're hopeful she'll make a full recovery so we can get some of those answers."

A press release from police indicates the engineer blew his whistle and applied his breaks when he saw McIntyre, but she didn't move off the tracks.  A spokesperson for Canadian Pacific says the maximum train speed along that stretch is 35 mph.

The investigation is ongoing.

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