SAN ANTONIO – The death of a man who was hit Monday morning by a train on the South Side appears to be part of a disturbing trend in San Antonio.
San Antonio police say they have seen a spike in the number of people who have been killed or injured in this way, particularly this month.
"I counted five," said Officer Douglas Greene, a spokesman for SAPD. "We're seeing individuals that are either highly intoxicated, or they're on the tracks intentionally."
Police were not able to say right away what factors contributed to the death of the man Monday.
Greene said officers were called to a stretch of railroad tracks between Gillette and West Villaret boulevards shortly before 3:30 a.m.
They say the conductor told them he saw the man lying on the tracks.
"(He) sounded their horn multiple times, but the individual did not move," Greene said. "Unfortunately, in these situations, there's not much that the conductor can do to stop the train. The individual was struck."
Greene said because of the weight of the cargo on freight trains, they travel a distance before they come to a rest.
In this case, the train stopped about a mile down the road from where it hit the man.
His death became the focus of an investigation by the SAPD, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office that lasted about three hours.
With the train at standstill, the railroad crossing at W. Villaret remained closed until about 6:30 a.m.
"This is kind of a spike as compared to what we usually see," Greene said in response to the latest fatality.
Another man was hit by a train and killed Thursday as he walked along an elevated track near the 3000 block of E. Commerce.
On April 12, Giovanni Pansza-Orosco, 23, was struck by a train on the tracks near Zarzamora Street.
Family members later told KSAT that Pansza-Orosco was wearing headphones at the time.
Pansza-Orosco and his wife were expecting their second child, according to the family members.
Within a few days of his death, two other men in the city were hit by trains but survived.
"The main thing, of course, is to stay off the tracks," Greene said, repeating a warning police have issued many times before.
Police are hoping, especially now, that people will heed that advice.