SWANSEA, Ill. (AP) – A national animal rights group is honoring the southern Illinois animal rescue volunteer who was struck and killed by a regional commuter train while responding to a call about an opossum on the tracks.
Fifty-eight-year-old Sandie Konopelski of Shiloh died last month after being hit by a MetroLink train east of St. Louis. She was licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as a wildlife rehabilitator.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is honoring the 20-year rescuer with a commemorative leaf on its “Tree of Life” memorial at the organization’s Norfolk, Virginia headquarters.
PETA says she saved nearly 500 animals last year. The organization also plans to make a donation in Konopelski’s name to the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline, which serves Illinois and Missouri.