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Pedestrian Killed by Amtrak Train Coming Out of Tree-Lined Curve

(Fredericksburg, Virginia – October 20, 2012)

A 74-year-old pedestrian, attempting to cross CSX (old RF&P) railroad tracks about 300 yards from the nearest crossing, which is just outside of Fredericksburg, was struck and killed by a 70 mph Newport News, VA-bound Amtrak passenger train coming around a tree-enshrouded curve at about 4:00 P.M. Wednesday.

The victim, Charles Hollowell of Spotsylvania, VA, “apparently did not see the approaching train because of a bend in the tracks as he attempted to cross,” said Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office Captain Mike Harvey. County Road 608 and a residential area parallel the CSX double-track main line at the point of the tragedy, and the heavy foliage of large trees obscure the view toward the northwest of any southbound train.

Although the engineer of Boston-originating Amtrak train #95 blew the locomotives horn and activated the emergency brakes when he saw the imperiled man walking across the tracks, but still could not avoid hitting and killing the victim.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, an average of 46 CSX freight, Amtrak passenger and Virginia Railway Express commuter trains operate through the rail corridor daily at speeds as high as 70 mph.