BARSTOW – A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train hit and killed a 40-year-old Barstow man near Riverside Drive in what officials are calling an accident.
Barstow resident Tracy Ware was struck by the train while it was traveling West near the 1600 block of Riverside Drive on Friday, according to a report from San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner’s Department. Paramedics from the Barstow Fire Protection District responded at about 10:48 p.m. and declared Ware dead on scene, the report stated.
Investigators from the Barstow Police Department and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Police handling the incident are currently calling the death accidental, the report stated.
The death did not occur at a railway crossing, BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent said. She said that she could not comment on if Ware was trespassing at the time of his death or possible reasons he was near the railroad tracks because the investigation is still continuing.
The highest number of trespassing-related fatilities near train tracks is in California, where there were 82 fatalities in 2007, according to statistics provided by Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit organization that studies railway collisions and train-related deaths throughout the U.S; Texas reported the second-highest number at 49. The figures are from the most recent year for which final statistics are available, according to the organization’s Web site.
“Accidents can happen under a lot of circumstances, from someone jogging near the tracks with music on so they don’t hear when we’re blowing the whistle to vagrants that trespass onto the tracks,” Kent said.
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Source: Desert Dispatch (Barstow, CA) – Monday, March 2, 2009