NIU economics professor dies after being struck by train in Kane County

Death investigation ongoing by multiple agencies

Oswego Police are warning people to avoid the area around the 400 block of Blue Ridge Drive after receiving a report of individuals damaging windows and vehicles and possibly waving a gun.

A 38-year-old associate economics professor at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb died Monday after being hit by a train on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at County Line Road in Maple Park, according to a news release from the Kane County Coroner’s Office.

He was identified as Alexander Garivaltis, according to the release.

NIU spokesman Joe King confirmed that Garivaltis was an economics professor at NIU in DeKalb.

The incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Garivaltis was taken to the morgue, where the preliminary cause of death was multiple injuries, according to the release.

Toxicology samples were sent to a forensic laboratory for testing.

The coroner’s office is working with Maple Park police, the Union Pacific Railroad and the sheriff’s office in an ongoing investigation of the death, according to the release.

The university released a statement regarding Garivalits’ death, expressing condolences to his parents, extended family and his colleagues.

“Dr. Garivaltis was a longtime member of the Huskie community, having earned his bachelor’s (2010) and master’s (2011) in mathematics from NIU,” according to the official statement. “He returned to NIU to teach in the fall of 2017 and touched the lives of many students as an instructor over the past seven years.”