Man hit, killed by train Sunday marks 6th train death in 2 months

Victim in 50s killed on West Poplar near North San Marcos

By Deven Clarke - Crime and Justice Reporter, Adam B. Higgins - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - At least six people have been killed by trains in and around San Antonio since April.

The latest incident happened Sunday on West Poplar near North San Marcos, where police said a man in his 50's walked in front of an oncoming train and was hit by the locomotive.

The man was pronounced dead on the scene.

"It's crazy (be)cause I had just seen that guy alive 10 seconds ago, and then to see him dead right here," said Adrian Garza who works nearby the fatality scene. Garza said he is still disturbed by the incident. "This guy, I guess he thought he could make his way through. As soon as he starts crossing, I mean within seconds, the train flew by and takes the guy with him."

Moments before being struck, Garza said the man, who appeared to be homeless, had been spotted under an overpass on Frio Street about a few hundred yards away from the fatality.

San Antonio police said they did not ask the man who was in his 50's to leave the overpass, but tell us officers did encourage him to use a sidewalk for safety reasons. There is an active investigation into what happened. 

Witnesses said the scene still haunts them.

"I never in my life seen anything like this. I just felt bad for the guy," said Josue Rodriguez, who works with Garza.

A spokeswoman for Union Pacific released a statement saying, "The train was traveling at less than 20 mph, but was still unable to stop when the emergency brake was applied."

Rodriguez said the deadly incident served as a reminder to him as to how quickly tragedy can strike.

"Everything happens for a reason, we just don't know what’s going to happen tomorrow," he said.

In an effort to prevent train-related casualties, federal railroad officials offer safety tips for drivers and pedestrians who travel near train tracks. Click here to read the tips.

The identity of the man killed has not been released.

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