(El Paso, Texas – October 22, 2011)
A westbound Union Pacific freight train hauling 104 containers on flatcars through central El Paso, TX Saturday morning around 1:30 A.M. struck and killed a local woman in her 20’s near the Piedras Street/Douglas Avenue crossing.
The train crew alleged that the woman was lying between the tracks when she was hit by the freight train. Several area residents interviewed by news media revealed that “Raynor and Douglas is a common crossing area for residents.
“Because there are few barriers except for some overgrown shrubs, crossing the tracks to Memorial Park or toward the stores along Raynor is easy.” Nearby resident, Bertha Carreon, said. “Most of the people that cross live in this area. They do it because they don’t want to head over to Piedras to cross there. Instead, they cross here.”
Carreon’s observations were echoed by another area resident, Josue Marinelarena.“I see people crossing all the time. Sometimes people from the other side cross over to head to the park. Sometimes they cross over to pick up groceries and other things from the store,” said Marinelarena.
But Carreon interjected a note of concern. “They should put something up to keep people from crossing there,” she said. “It’s dangerous. There should be something put up there, because you have the park so close, and then you have children running around here.”
Union Pacific Southern Region spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza nixed the fence suggestion. “In terms of a fence, that won’t fix the situation, because we (UPRR) need to access the tracks,” claimed Espinoza. She added that “it is considered trespassing when people do not cross at a designated railroad crossing.”