Railroad News

Young California Teen Killed by Union Pacific Train

(Farad, California — April 19, 2015)

A 13-year-old Sun Valley, CA boy died at about 5:15 P.M. Sunday afternoon when he was struck by an eastbound Union Pacific train as he and his family crossed a railroad bridge to have a better look at the scenic Truckee River along I-80 as it intersects with Farad Road near Farad, CA.

Anthony William Schafer was with his family as they tried to use a double-tracked bridge to get closer to the river and was hit by one of the 18 trains, including Amtrak passenger operations, that roll through the Interstate Highway/unfenced railroad corridor on an average day at top speeds of 50 mph. Because there was no public crossing involved, the train would probably not have been honking its horn in advance of the bridge on the frequently curving tracks.

Nevada (CA) County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Keith Royal said deputies and California Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched to the location, near the California/Nevada state line, where they found the young victim and pronounced him dead from his injuries. News media, among them KOLO-TV, ABC Channel 8 in Reno, NV, reported that, according to a UPRR spokesman, “the company (UPRR) received reports prior to the incident that some individuals were seen playing on the bridge earlier,” but there was no assurance that the two incidents were related. KRNV-TV in Reno, NV, spoke with UPRR Public Information Officer Francisco Castillo who said the train struck the juvenile as he was crossing the bridge and tracks.

UP Special Agents and Risk Managers were at the scene of the tragedy to investigate and the railroad tracks were closed until 9:00 P.M., according to KOLO-TV.