(Sedalia, Missouri – June 14, 2014)
A local man who was believed to be an avid enthusiast of trains and enjoyed photographing them was killed by one of the very subjects he sought to capture on film this past Saturday about 12:51 P.M. when, authorities think, he was taken by surprise by the oncoming, westbound “Missouri River Runner” Amtrak passenger train he and a companion were preparing to photograph.
Jonathan D. Eades, 24, was on or near Union Pacific Railroad tracks where they cross U.S. Highway 50 via an overpass on the edge of Sedalia, MO when he was hit. His fellow photographer, who was not named, was able to escape the train’s path and was not injured. Sedalia Democrat News Writer Pat Pratt reported that “authorities say a ‘blind curve’ in the tracks and the noise of traffic below may have contributed to the accident.”
“There were two individuals on the bridge and they were surprised by the train,” Sedalia Police Dept. Sgt. Josh Howell told Pratt. “There is what I would call somewhat of a blind corner just east of the bridge. The train comes around the corner, there are trees blocking the view and it was moving pretty fast,” continued Sgt. Howell. “It was an Amtrak, which people know, goes a little faster than a freight train,” the Police Sergeant concluded.
While confirming that the property was posted with “no trespassing” signs at each end of the railroad overpass, the non-existence of fencing intended to hamper such activities was not mentioned in the police interview.
The single track Union Pacific route over which the Kansas City-bound train, loaded with 79 passengers, was operating carries a daily average of nearly two dozen trains, including four Amtrak runs, at a top allowable speed of 70 mph.