(Topeka, Kansas – February 27, 2018)
A 21-year-old Topeka man was killed and his 19-year-old female fishing companion was hospitalized in critical condition after the pair were trapped and struck by a BNSF train as they fished from a frequently used single span BNSF Railway bridge near Topeka, KS about 5:05 P.M., CST Tuesday afternoon.
Christian Carey was struck by the train, one of a daily average of eight BNSF freight and Amtrak passenger trains that cross the bridge at a maximum allowable speed of 79 mph. His fishing companion, Clarissa Sealey, jumped from the bridge and into the waters of Shunganunga Creek near NE Goodell and SE 2nd Streets near the community of Tecumseh. She was taken by ambulance to Topeka’s Stormont Vail Hospital, where she was being treated for critical injuries suffered when she jumped to escape the train. Both victims were from Topeka, KS.
Although law enforcement and emergency forces restricted access to the area, which was near and behind a residence, satellite photos of the approaches to the bridge revealed no evidence of security fencing nor warning signs against occupying the single track open deck bridge span where the tragedy occurred.