(Oshkosh, Wisconsin – May 24, 2014)
An as-yet unidentified 65-year-old Oshkosh, WI resident was killed Saturday night at about 9:40 P.M., CDT, when he was struck by a southbound Canadian National freight train as he sat near where the rails skirt Lake Winnebago around the 1600 block of South Main Avenue in an area described by Gabrielle Mays of Green Bay, WI Fox Channel 11 as “a popular fishing spot.”
Oshkosh Police Dept. Lt. Don Wilson said that the victim “was sitting on the edge of the rail on a bucket right next to the rail, just a little bit too close.” Lt. Wilson also said that the man was sitting along the tracks, didn’t hear the train coming, and wasn’t able to move out of the way in time. He agreed that “a lot of people fish near the area where the man was struck,” adding “That’s because it’s on Lake Winnebago.”
The Police Lt. also said that, despite the posted signs, cars park along a dirt road and fishermen can be seen crossing the track which, according to Federal Railroad Administration documents, carries a daily average of two dozen CNR freight trains at a top allowable speed of 60 mph.
“That’s the main north-south track that they run through Oshkosh, so they go through there a lot. It’s very common. It’s the only way (for trains) to get through Oshkosh on that track,”observed Lt. Wilson.
Dan Bennett, who lives a half mile away from the accident scene, said that “All of a sudden, I heard the loud screech. I’ve never heard the train stop like that before.”
Others who habitually fish in the same area were shocked to learn of the tragedy. Alberta Hearvey, who fishes there regularly, said “It’s a pretty sad thing especially since the trains run through here all the time.”