(Topeka, Kansas – June 30, 2011)
An as-yet unidentified pedestrian was hit and killed early Thursday morning about 5:25 A.M. by an eastbound Union Pacific freight train on Topeka’s northwest side, near a popular fishing area. The victim was found beneath the train’s seventh car behind the locomotive, and was pronounced dead at the scene by personnel from the Shawnee County Coroner’s Office.
The train came to a stop about a quarter mile beyond a paved road crossing of UPRR tracks that leads to a concrete boat ramp at the river, and the victim may have been attempting to walk across the tracks at that point.
The crossing is one of a long stretch of dangerous, unguarded private crossings on the former Southern Pacific/Rock Island double track route that are equipped solely by railroad crossbucks or no signs whatsoever, and lack electronic signals to notify the public of approaching trains.
Topeka Police Department’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit as well as Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office personnel were all on the scene conducting the investigation.