(Richmond, California – May 3, 2014)
A California pedestrian walking with the use of a cane became the third person to die in 16 accidents occurring at the crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Cutter Avenue in Richmond, CA Saturday afternoon at about 1:45 P.M., PDT, when he was struck and killed by an Amtrak passenger train.
The as-yet unidentified pedestrian “may have been walking across the tracks when his cane got stuck in the path of the train,” said Richmond Police Lt. Andre Hill, who added that “Witnesses reported that the (unnamed) female (seen walking with the victim) tried to assist him, but it was too late.”
“It appears to be an accident,” said Lt. Hill in silencing speculation of suicide, “the man fell behind” as the pair crossed at the pedestrian crossing adjacent to the Cutter Avenue grade crossing. The Richmond police officer also cast doubt upon the possibility of drug or alcohol involvement in the tragedy.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, whose data base was the source of the UPRR grade crossing’s statistical and historical information, Cutter Avenue is crossed by three tracks which an average count of 64 freight and Amtrak passenger trains utilize daily at top speeds of 79 mph, and has also been the site of two additional non-fatality injuries resultant from the 16 accidents.
The vehicular crossing is equipped with lights, gates and bells, but no report of their function, proper or improper, was offered.