Loyola University senior who died after falling on tracks over weekend was ‘a beacon of sunshine’

John Versnel, 21. Photo courtesy of Rogers Park Pet Salon.

Loyola University senior John Versnel died late Saturday after falling onto the Red Line tracks at the Loyola CTA station.

He came into contact with the electrified third rail and was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, the Tribune reported.

A memorial service will be held for Versnel at 7:30 p.m. today, Sept. 17, on Loyola’s lake shore campus.

Versnel, 21, lived in Rogers Park and worked for the past year and a half at Rogers Bark Pet Salon, said its owner Marie Winkeler.

“He was a really good guy that just had a lot of promise and was just a beacon of sunshine,” Winkeler said.

Winkeler said it’s been a difficult weekend for her and others at the business. She said on Saturday morning, she got a call from Versnel’s roommate, who also worked at the salon. She was hysterical with news of the fall, Winkeler said.

He reportedly had been drinking with friends and when he exited the train he bumped into a pillar on the platform and stumbled onto the tracks, according to the Sun-Times.

Winkeler said she went to the hospital, and then back to Versnel’s apartment, where 20 of his friends had gathered.

Representatives from Loyola’s campus ministry were present to offer support, she said.

Mercer Island Patch in Washington state is reporting that Versnel was originally from the island and graduated from parochial school Seattle Prep in 2009.

The memorial service will be held in Madonna della Strada Chapel and a reception following will be held in the Mundelein Center Cardinal’s Suite.

Contact Director of Campus Ministry Lisa Reiter at 773-508-2200 with questions.