A pedestrian recently was struck and killed by Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner 316 train in Pacific, Missouri. The death scene, near the Fourth Street crossing of the Union Pacific railroad tracks, has been the site of three deaths since 2005; a fourth accident at the same site was nonfatal.
On March 6, 2013, at approximately 8:45 P.M., Zachary T. Brady, 20, was walking along the crushed rock beside the railroad tracks, on his way home from his job at a nearby restaurant, when he was hit by the Amtrak train. He was near, but not at, the Fourth Street railroad crossing. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said that Brady was trespassing on the Union Pacific right-of-way when he was struck. Police ruled Brady’s death accidental.
Pacific, MO, Police Chief, Matt Manfell, told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that since so many of the town’s 7,000 residents live near the two well-used railroad tracks angling through town, “People get used to the trains….And they end up losing respect for them.”
The Amtrak train was traveling from St. Louis, MO to Kansas City, MO. While the speed of the train that caused the man’s death has not yet been released, it has been reported that the maximum speed for trains in the area is 79 mph. None of the 58 passengers nor any train crew was injured; the train was not damaged.
The number of pedestrians struck by trains increased by 7.5 percent from 2011 to 2012, yet Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo proclaimed 2012 “the safest year in railroad history.” Pedestrian and train accidents regularly occur when people walk across railroad tracks when not at a crossing. The risks of crossing railroad tracks frequently are overlooked or ignored. The consequences can be deadly.