A man was killed after being struck by an Amtrak train in the Sodo neighborhood of downtown Seattle Thursday evening, and a number of passengers witnessed the horrific events that resulted in the man’s death.
News reports indicate that the Amtrak Cascades train was traveling from Portland to Vancouver, B.C. and was going through downtown Seattle Thursday at approximately 6:30 p.m. Exact details are still being sorted out at the moment, but a man was allegedly standing on the train’s tracks between 2nd and 4th Avenue and was struck by the train.
Several of the train’s passengers say that they immediately knew something was wrong, and some even saw the man’s hat fly up into the air right after the collision occurred.
“I was in the dining car and I heard them slam the brakes on and then a few minutes later they called for anyone who had any medical background to come help,” says Alicia Adamson, one passenger who was on board the Amtrak train when the collision happened.
Aftermath of Seattle Amtrak Train Accident
After the train came to a screeching halt and the announcements were made, passengers waited on board the train for approximately 30 minutes before King County Metro buses arrived to transport passengers to the King Street Station.
Currently, the Seattle Police Department is investigating what may have caused the unidentified man to be on the train tracks at the time of the collision. Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) – the freight railroad network responsible for maintaining and operating the tracks – also sent an investigation team to the scene to test the crossing gates, lights and alarm signals.
Accidents involving trains are unique in that because a train is set to a fixed track, these vehicles are unable to change direction or stop quickly enough to avoid an accident. This puts the responsibility of avoiding train collisions on pedestrians and bicyclists, because staying away from a train’s tracks should keep those people out of harm’s way. The results of the police investigation will likely help paint a clearer picture of why this man was on the tracks and who is responsible for the collision.