(Roosevelt, Washington – November 25, 2011)
A Powell Butte, OR man, who had been the manager of the Albertsons supermarket manager in northeast Bend, OR for more than a decade, died early Friday morning just after 6:30 A.M. as he was struck by an Amtrak passenger train when he and two companions were about to begin a day of duck hunting in southwest Washington state.
The engineer of the train, which was travelling west at between 55 and 60 mph with a locomotive and four cars, said he saw the dog, which he at first thought might be a coyote, cross the tracks, followed by Steve Allison, who may never have seen or heard the train. According to Benton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bob Brockman, the victim was dressed in camouflage, and “I don’t believe he was wearing anything reflective. He would have just popped up on the tracks. I don’t even know if the engineer would have had the time to blow the whistle,” much less stop the train, said the law enforcement officer.
Continuing to describe the tragedy, Sgt. Brockman felt Allison may never have heard the train because “I’ve talked to a lot of people, watched some training films; Unless you are looking down the tracks toward it, you don’t hear it coming up behind you.”
The sergeant said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and immediately quashed media speculation about possible involvement of drugs or alcohol in the tragedy.