Train hits trespasser at crossing

By: 

Senior News Reporter
Martin Manzi, San Marcos Police Department commander; Brian Beach, SMPD officer, and Louis Tudyk, Union Pacific Railroad police officer, discuss details of the accident April 8 that occurred near Jowers Center.

A teenage male was struck by a train after illegally crossing the tracks around 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Charles Austin Drive crossing near Jowers Center and the Bobcat Softball Stadium.

The northbound Union Pacific train struck the teenager despite the fact its horn sounded, said Jeff DeGraff, spokesman for Union Pacific Railroad. DeGraff said the boy may not have heard the train’s horn because he was wearing headphones at the time. The status of the victim is unknown.

DeGraff believes the boy’s injuries were accidental.

“(According to) my guys on the ground, he was attempting to cross or was walking alongside the tracks,” DeGraff said.

The teenager was transported by an Air Flite helicopter to University Hospital in San Antonio to be treated for “severe injuries,” DeGraff said.

Union Pacific officials are in the process of determining the speed of the train at the time of the accident, DeGraff said.

Crossing railway lines at unauthorized places is dangerous, said Louis Tudyk, Union Pacific Railroad police officer.

Union Pacific may pursue legal action against the victim for trespassing, DeGraff said.

“You can be ticketed, you can be cited (or) you can be arrested for being on railroad private property,” Tudyk said. “We don’t want people on our property. That’s like me walking through your front yard.”

DeGraff said Union Pacific officials are working with the community to implement safe practices and reduce the number of accidents.

“Even one incident is more than we would like,” DeGraff said. “Fortunately for us, if you look at the last 10 years, the number of incidents (has) steadily declined. It shows our educational efforts are paying off.”