(Conway, Arkansas – April 19, 2014)
A pleasant Easter Sunday afternoon turned tragic as a male pedestrian, said to be in his teens, was killed when he was struck from behind by a Union Pacific train near the intersection of Tyler and Donaghey Streets about 1:40 P.M. in Conway, AR.
Conway Police would not identify the young victim, who was pronounced dead where the train stopped at the crossing of UP rails and Salem Street, pending notification of his family. However, the young man, who was allegedly wearing headphones while walking along the basically unfenced railroad tracks, was later identified as Sean Studler, 17, of Conway.
“From what we understand, a young, white male was walking alongside the tracks, and eventually he ended up being hit by the train,” Conway Police Dept. Public Information Officer LaTresha Woodruff explained to news media at the scene.
“It is a very uncommon thing to happen here in Conway and very disheartening for someone to lose their life in this manner. We are celebrating Easter Sunday right now, and a lot of people are at home celebrating with family and going to church and things like that,” Spokeswoman Woodruff told KARK-TV Channel 4 Reporter Melissa Schroeder and Conway Log Cabin Democrat News Writer Michelle Corbet. “To get some news like this that someone lost their life so tragically, it’s very, very unfortunate,” Officer Woodruff added.
CPD investigators were both interviewing the train’s crew as well viewing videotape recordings of the accident taken by the locomotive on the front of the lead locomotive. “At this point, we are trying to make notification to that young man’s family, and our investigators are working on this to see exactly what happened,” Woodruff continued. “The Conway Police Dept. will be the lead on this investigation, but obviously, since it was a Union Pacific train, their police will also be involved. We’ll have to work closely together on this to figure out exactly what happened,” she concluded.
The stretch of UPRR tracks through Conway carry a daily average of 18 trains at a maximum allowable speed of 45 mph according to Federal Railroad Administration records.