Crossing train tracks illegally presents high risk of death, injury


Data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) shows trespassing is the most common cause of death and injury in train-related accidents in Hays County.  

The majority of deaths and injuries on Hays County railways can be attributed to trespassing on private property, according to the data. Similar trends can be found in nearby Central Texas counties where rail traffic is present.

FRA records show 14 total accidents from April 2010 to April 2015 in Hays County. Eight of the 14 people injured or killed were trespassing on private property. Three of the trespassing incidents resulted in fatalities.

Texas State offers services for sexual assault victims

The University Police Department (UPD) and other local organizations work in tandem to provide rape kits and other forms of support to survivors of sexual trauma on campus.

The kits consist of diagrams, literature and tools for documenting rapes and collecting evidence, said Whitney Bliss, sexual assault counselor at Hays-Caldwell Women’s Shelter. A certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) must perform the exams.

“It’s a standard process,” Bliss said. “All of the kits have the exact same materials in it, even with instructions on how to do that and how to label it.”

SMPD accused of illegal hangar entry

A local attorney spoke to San Marcos City Council Tuesday evening regarding his concerns about San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) misconduct.

Charles Soechting, of The Soechting Lawfirm, claimed police unlawfully broke into his personal hangar after receiving a false lead from a narcotics office.

Soechting alleged police broke into his hangar to look for illegal substances after a “crooked” narcotics officer accused him of transporting drugs. Soechting said the police later informed him that his hangar had been broken into before they arrived.

Three charged with arson in Sagewood fire investigation

Three 19-year-old men have been arrested by officials from the San Marcos Fire Marshal’s Office in connection with an arson that occurred the morning of April 9 at a house on the 1000 block of Sagewood Trail.

San Marcos police and fire department officials determined the blaze was isolated to the front porch of the house. The residents put out the fire and escaped the house without sustaining injuries.

Officials with the fire marshal’s office conducted an investigation and determined the fire was set intentionally.

Victim of lethal train accident identified

Officials with the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) have identified the man who was struck and killed by a train on Friday afternoon.

Richard Alonzo Natal, 50, was struck by a train at about 3:30 p.m., The victim was pronounced dead via phone by Jo Anne Prado, Justice of the Peace, shortly after he was found by police.

Man struck, killed on railroad tracks


April 19 UPDATE:

Alkek disturbance caused by fireworks, police say

University Police Department (UPD) officers investigated “possible gun shots” near the library early Wednesday afternoon.

“At 3:12 p.m., a call came in saying there were possible shots fired by the Math (and) Computer Science building into Alkek (Library),” said Brian Carpenter, UPD sergeant.

Mondy Hobbs, public relations senior, was studying on the seventh floor of Alkek when she heard the noises.

“All of a sudden we heard really loud bangs,” Hobbs said.

Suspects who fled traffic stop still at large

Officials do not have any further information regarding a traffic stop gone wrong on Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35).

Two men fled a traffic stop after being pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officer, according to an April 9 University Star article.

“They were stopped for a traffic violation,” said Robbie Barrera, DPS public information trooper.

Search for men who fled traffic stop ends

The manhunt for two men who fled a traffic stop has ended after almost three hours.

Two men in a black Ford pickup truck ran away after being pulled over on Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35) just after 2 p.m. by a Department of Public Safety (DPS) officer. The officer fired shots at the back of the truck and struck a tire, causing the vehicle to turn into the frontage road and then into a nearby meadow. The two men fled on foot.

Train hits trespasser at crossing


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.


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