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THURSDAY UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck, Killed by Amtrak Train

The accident occurred at about 4 p.m. outside Fredericksburg, officials said.

Update, Thursday, Oct. 18, 11:30 a.m.:

Cpt. Mike Harvey of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office said this morning: "We have notified the next of kin of who we believe the victim was.  But we cannot release that information to the public until the Medical Examiner has DNA results, which could take up to two weeks."

Update, 7 p.m.:

Officials are still investigating the fatality which occurred on railroad tracks in the area of Mine and Benchmark roads earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Cpt. Mike Harvey of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office said the Amtrak train engineer reported that when he came to a bend in the tracks — about 200 yards from where a man was hit — he saw the man walking east across the tracks.  The engineer reported the man crossing the tracks did not even look up or acknowledge the train, said Harvey.  The engineer said there was no time to stop the train, said Harvey. 

The Amtrak train that hit the man had about 227 passengers on it, Harvey said. Harvey said three trains are stalled behind that Amtrak train, but another train is being sent to transfer the stalled passengers to continue south. 

Harvey said there would be no additional updates this evening. The remains have been sent to the Medical Examiner's office in Richmond, where identification will be made through DNA. 

"We are going to look at every angle to find out why this happened," said Harvey. 

Northbound traffic on Benchmark Road is being diverted left onto Mine Road.

Original Post: The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal train versus pedestrian crash Wednesday in the area of Mine and Benchmark roads, officials say.

Cpt. Mike Harvey said in an email the fatality happened around 4 p.m. and that the victim is a white male. 

The man was struck by an Amtrak passenger train 300 yards north of the crossing at Benchmark and Mine roads, Harvey said. 

Harvey told Patch the train is past the Fredericksburg station, so it is not affecting Virginia Railway Express trains. Harvey said all Amtrak and freight trains are on hold until officials clear the scene.

Patch will update with more information as it becomes available. 

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BP October 18, 2012 at 04:16 AM
18. Why drug/alcohol tests aren't done on rail crews at crossing/pedestrian collisions? 19. Why railroads are allowed to get off with the train black box , signal black box (if crossing signals are present), and cab video at crossing/pedestrian collisions? 20. Why the fact is hidden that trains kill a few thousand people in 100 million train miles when regular drivers have like ONE death? 21.Why Amtrak passengers aren't required to look at the despicable shape of the crossings before they board the trains? 22.Why train horns aren't blown at private crossings till the last second freezing drivers? 23.Why the railroads track lights can't be at a crossing? 24 .Why railroads need track lights and civilians don't? WAITING FOR OLI/OLI.CA response.
BP October 18, 2012 at 04:17 AM
13. Why the crossings aren't lit up so drivers can see the black rail cars across the tracks at night? 14. Why railroads remove and steal signals we paid for on closed re-worked crossings? 15. Why $$$millions$$$ of the rail safety budget we pay in is wasted on needless reworks at crossings preventing signals where needed? 16. Why the railroad isn't required to de-ice crossings before they roll the trains? 17. Why the railroad isn't required to raise their overpasses so big trucks can get under them? The railroad wants to double stack and our road overpasses are too low---no problem WE PAY MILLIONS.
BP October 18, 2012 at 04:17 AM
7. Why the crossing surfaces aren't wider where if a vehicle fish tails on slick road and is trapped at the edge of the crossing surface trap? 8. Why the train cabs aren't required to be lit up like a Christmas tree with emergency vehicle light bars? LOOK AND SEE!! 9. Why the front of trains aren't required to have air bags or something to soften impacts? 10. Why trains don't have better braking systems? OLIs message now shows train brakes obviously suck. 11. Why there are no bidding invitations on the obviously overcharged crossing projects the tax-payers pay the railroads for. $10,000 just to get the equipment to the sight. TRUCKED IN. 12. Why trains are allowed to run in the fog?
BP October 18, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Things a REAL railroad Operation Lifesaver (OL) group would ask!!! 1. Why are all OL directors handpuppets of the railroad or government only giving lip service safety messages? 2. Why nothing is ever mentioned by OL that would cost the railroads a penny on the obviously missing safety equipment and track maintenance work? 3. Where are the crossing safety signals for the trains going too fast with no brakes or steering at 1,000s of crossings? 4. Where are the track video monitors for the trains going too fast with no brakes or steering to get the train stopped IN TIME? 5. Why aren't railroads paying at least half for crossing signals because it's their trains going too fast with no brakes or steering while paying the so-called RR directors millions a year. 6. Why the crossing humps trapping big trucks aren't required to be removed?
Ed October 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM
What??????
Unknown Sender October 18, 2012 at 08:01 PM
7. Ask the state who built the road. its not the railroads fault you cant drive. 8. Cabs of Amtrak and alot of freight locos do have "lit up' warnings. Check it out, some systems even automatically stop the train! neat huh. 9. NASA hasnt invented this yet. Pretty much an impossibility sense no airbag in the world or the heavens could soften the impact of 10,000 tons vs stupid human.in a two ton car. (weights NOT exaggerated!) 10. Trains already posses brakes powerful enough to "Stop a freight train". it just happens to be a physical impossibility to stop that much weight, steel wheel on steel rail, without serious implications. way more than a single death. if they stopped like you wanted, all the people on a passenger train would be slurpies dripping off the forward wall of the first car. 11. because public contractors are not as qualified as railroad maintenance crews are. they also dont operate under the same rigorous fed law like rail crews do daily. 12. because they are the safest form of transportation that can run in inclimate conditions. trains only follow the rails, and without stupid humans, there wouldnt be anything on the rails.
Unknown Sender October 18, 2012 at 08:07 PM
13. get your eyes checked. you obviously missed the lights from the Amtrak cars, the big bright light on the front of train, not to mention the red flashing lights at Xing. and possibly even the red brake lights of the safe driver infront of you. 14. you cant steal what you already own. and like any other frugal company, why waste a good safety device when you can use it again? saving money is stupid??? 15. what? in english please. 16. because its not needed. just so you know, railroads do employ many types of de icers along their tracks. "switches' or 'turnouts" as they are called are generally a good spot to see one. 17. because rails were there first, by about 80 years. and its millions less to move the road. when the road was first built trucks were no where the size they are now.
Unknown Sender October 18, 2012 at 08:17 PM
18. they are. also done pre employment and randomly. it was the railroad industry that brought about drug testing in the working world. 19. get off with? makes no sense. all i can say is locomotives (most) do posses a black box. Xing signals do not. 20. it isnt hidden or you wouldnt have stated it, albeit incorrectly. then again your lumping a couple thousand engineers in with millions of drivers. sure its lops sided that way. 21. they arent the ones driving, and Amtrak cannot enforce DOT law concerning how you drive a car. 22. the distance from xing to the xing indicator sign is premeasured. believe it or not some local govts actually pass laws which directly refute federal law that every train sound warning device at every crossing. JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE WANTS THEIR SLEEP!!! so you can just bend over on this one! you asked for it!!!! engineers get fined for actually using a safety device now. incredible! 23. no such things as track lights. maybe you should turn on your head lights. that should work pretty good. 24. i think it should be the humans need the lights. yours is neon. and it says "here's my sign".
Unknown Sender October 18, 2012 at 08:22 PM
1. Safety First Last and Everywhere inbetween came from the railroads 50 years before OLI existed. 2. OLI is not a govt entity and therefore cannot make or enforce law. 3. whether a crossing signal is put up or not is determined by amount and type of traffic, not train. a private driveway doesnt need one. but a 4 lane road does. either way, its your local govt who determines that. the RR only puts it in if it meets requirements. 4. the cameras are in the nose or cab of locomotives. 5. the RRs do pay $$$ for xings. not to mention lose alot of $$$ for time lost putting them in as freight cant roll by until new construction is done. 6. railroads were there 80years before cars trucks and the roads that carry them were though of. maybe you should raise the road a bit. its a few $$$$ less. or hire a driver smart enough to pre check his route.
Unknown Sender October 18, 2012 at 08:23 PM
thanks for the laugh! Peace
BP October 19, 2012 at 05:57 AM
#1 --Your an obvious railroad hired gun with 100% false information here. 18. Check National Response Center reports daily ---Drug/alcohol tests train crew has a big NO every time unless the RR needs a escape goat.. 19. Crossing signals do have recorders. They also have remote monitors to call the maintainer. BOTH the tax-payers have been screwed millions on keeping signals from going in at other crossings. 20. It's lopsided because the idiots on the train have no brakes or steering and outrun their sight stopping distance. Why don't the trains run through rail yards like a scalded cat? 21. But their ticket is for a RENTAL track where private railroads screw us millions rent for a year. 22. The dirty FEDs took over state horn laws a few years ago so the railroads can bring out CREW-LESS trains hid behind the curtain. Your a poor cover uper. 23. The lights along the tracks so the idiots on the train can see ahead. 24. The lights at the crossing where the driver can SEE where they can't see. Like the train coming out of the brush tunnel.
Unknown Sender October 19, 2012 at 05:33 PM
no no no, you have me all wrong. im no hired RR gun, nor do i have any connection with Operation Lifesaver. Matter of fact i have no connection with any RR in any shape or form. the information i posted is true and correct and is common knowledge.

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