Union Pacific Railroad officials said a man was seriously injured Tuesday morning after he was struck by a train north of Denison.
UP Spokesman Jeff DeGraff said the Union Pacific train was traveling south near State Highway 69 when, at approximately 3:30 a.m., crews observed a man on the tracks a short distance away.
“The train crew spotted an individual actually lying down on the tracks, approximately 500 feet in front of the train,”DeGraff said. “As they approached, they sounded the horn to try to alert the individual, but, unfortunately, they were not able to stop the train in time and they did strike him.”
DeGraff said the man was transported to a Plano-area hospital and treated for serious injuries. The incident remains under investigation by Union Pacific Police, who work alongside the National Transportation Safety Board and local police departments, but have jurisdiction over all of the rail company’s line, yards and facilities. DeGraff said investigators were still working Wednesday to determine whether the man attempted to move himself out of the train’s path.
“According to initial statements that we’ve gotten from the crew, it did not appear that he made any significant movements, but it was a very brief period of time, so it was hard to tell,” DeGraff said. “As part of the investigation that we’re working on right now, we are downloading video from the camera that’s in the cab of the locomotive. So, were going to be able to take a look at that and hopefully have a better idea.”
DeGraff said investigators have also reached out to the man and hope to speak with him in the coming days and weeks, as he recovers. Pedestrians are not allowed on any Union Pacific rail lines or properties, DeGraff said, adding that train tracks can be a dangerous place for anyone unauthorized to be there.
“A train can be coming from either direction on the railroad tracks and, often times, it can be difficult to tell, from sound or sight, how quickly a train is approaching,” DeGraff said. “A train is limited in how it can respond. It’s not like a vehicle that can swerve out of the way or slam on the breaks and stop on a dime. So, our message to pedestrians especially is to just stay off of railroad tracks and stay away from any equipment.”