Updated 3:55 p.m.: An 8-year-old boy who had run away from the Rice Center was struck by a southbound CTA Purple Line train as he walked along the elevated tracks just south of the Dempster Street station in Evanston about 1:07 this afternoon.

Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan says child was walking along the tracks with another runaway from the center when he was hit by the train. The second child wasn’t injured.

The injured youth was taken to St. Francis Hospital where he’s reported to be in critical condition with a head injury..

The two, and a third youth, had walked away from Rice Center at 1101 Washington St. The third youth was later reported to have returned to the center.

Dugan says Evanston police juvenile detectives are investigating the incident.

Train traffic on the Purple Line was halted for about an hour while police investigated the incident and the CTA advised passengers to consider using the Route 201 bus instead.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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