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Utah Transit Authority Records Fourth Pedestrian Death This Year

(Salt Lake City, Utah – August 19, 2011)

A 69-year-old man became the fourth Utahan to die so far in 2011 when struck by either standard or light rail passenger commuter trains Friday night about 8:45 P.M. when he stopped to allow one train to pass, and then stepped directly into the path of a second train in the opposite direction.

Salt Lake City, UT Police Lt. Brian Purvis said the two trains passed the point of the tragedy almost simultaneously and that the victim was obviously focused on the passing eastbound train and failed to notice the approaching westbound TRAX train.

“The trains are electric and they’re pretty quite,” observed Lt. Purvis.

UTA Spokesman Gerry Carpenter said the accident occurred at the Library station at 300 East, 400 South. Carpenter said the trains, each carrying 30 to 40 passengers, were travelling at 25 to 30 mph in that area. Besides the four fatalities recorded by UTA TRAX and FrontRunner (heavy rail) trains this year, another near-fatality occurred at the same Library station site earlier this year, with the victim surviving, but suffering serious injuries.