(Oshtemo Township, Michigan –November 27, 2013)
An as-yet unidentified pedestrian, bundled up against sub-freezing temperatures, moderate winds and snow, was struck from behind by a Chicago-bound Amtrak passenger train loaded with Thanksgiving travelers as the train accelerated to 70 mph after leaving the Kalamazooo, MI train station Wednesday at about 3:30 P.M.
While Amtrak officials were emphasizing the use of the word “trespasser” in referring to the victim, Matyas explained that, even though “The conductor (engineer) laid on his horn to get his (the victim’s) attention, but there was no reaction.”
There was no crossing near the scene of the tragedy, in a corridor of rail owned by Norfolk Southern but leased by Amtrak, where an average of nine trains operate daily at speeds as high as 79 mph.
Frigid temperatures, gusty winds, wind direction and snowfall undoubtedly added to the victim’s inability to hear the nine-car train approaching from behind as much as the person’s heavy winter clothing muffled the train’s sound.