SIU student killed by train remembered as traveler, mentor

By Cory Ray, Daily Egyptian

Dwight Singleton, Jr. kept a map in his room with pins of all the places he traveled. While he had only been to the Caribbean a few times, he journeyed across the continental U.S., visiting places such as Washington, D.C., Florida, Tennessee and California, to name a few.

“He was hoping to travel the world,” Tameka Livatino said of her son, who loved to travel because of his passion for the weather. “He had dreams of being a meteorologist.” 

Singleton, who was a senior majoring in sociology, died after he was hit by a train at 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the Kedzie Brown Line station in the 4600 block of North Kedzie in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. Singleton, who was 21, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.


While his family does not know what caused the accident, Tameka Livatino said an investigation is ongoing and suicide has been ruled out. 

John Livatino, Singleton’s stepfather, said Singleton was meeting a friend to head back to SIUC for the end of the semester. Singleton, who was set to graduate in May, would have been the first person on his mother’s side of the family to complete college in a few generations. 

“It’s a devastating blow to our entire family,” Tameka Livatino said. “He’ll be missed very deeply, and I’m going to do everything I can to keep his memory alive.”

Singleton, the eldest of four brothers, grew up in Des Plaines. While in high school, Singleton worked with elementary school students as an after-school and summer camp counselor. 

Singleton changed his major from geography to sociology because he loved working with people, his mother said. She said her son was a mentor to his brothers and friends by motivating them to stay in school. 

“He was a very good big brother,” she said. “He always looked out for his little brothers — they looked up to him — and his little cousins.” 

Singleton was buried Dec. 19 at the Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Northbrook. 


“His eyes and his laugh could light up a room,” Tameka Livatino said. “That’s pretty known. A lot of people feel that way — I thought it was just me being his mom.”

Cory Ray can be reached at [email protected], 618-536-3326 or on Twitter @coryray_DE.