(Lawrence, Kansas – October 22, 2013)
Mystery still surrounded the death of a Lawrence, KS man who was struck by an eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train as he tried to walk across or along BNSF railroad tracks near Burcham Park in Lawrence at around 2:35 P.M. Tuesday.
Jerry Claypool, 51, died before he could be airlifted from Lawrence Municipal Airport to a hospital in Kansas City. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire-Medical spokesperson Eve Tolefree said that the victim did not respond to life-saving efforts aboard the ambulance taking him to the airport. The train hit him at a point near the city park where there was no public or private crossing, near the 400 block of Ohio Street. The park is bordered by the Kansas River to the east and BNSF Railway tracks to the west.
The sole entrance to Burcham Park was blocked for quite some time by the stopped train. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, only seven trains pass through the rail corridor past the park, but these include a pair of Amtrak passenger trains and maximum allowable speed on these is 79 mph.
Lawrence Police Dept. spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley said LPD personnel were continuing to work with BNSF police officers and operating dept. officials in investigating the tragedy.