(Emporia, Kansas – October 9, 2013)
A 46-year-old Emporia, KS resident, riding his bicycle southbound toward his home across Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks at the Market Street crossing just south of downtown Emporia, fell from his bicycle onto one of the three main railroad tracks that cross there, only to be struck by a BNSF freight train as he lay unconscious just off the west edge of Market Street.
Michael T. Glaser, an avid cyclist, became the fourth Kansas bicycle rider to die in traffic this year, but only the first to be killed by a train. The unconscious victim had no way of escaping the train, which came along a few minutes after he fell at the crossing. He was taken to Newman Regional Hospital in Emporia, where he was pronounced deceased on arrival.
According to the federal Railroad Administration, a daily average of 81 BNSF freight and Amtrak passenger trains cross Market Street at a top allowable speed of 30 mph.
The triple-tracked crossing of Market Street, with six significant flangeways, makes riding any type of two-wheeled vehicle a challenge for even the most experienced rider, and this may have been contributory to, if not the main cause for, the accident.