San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

COVER: San Marcos police Cmdr. Martin Manzi and officer Brian Beach discuss the April 8 train-pedestrian collision with Union Pacific Railroad officer Louis Tudyk. PHOTO by MADELYNNE SCALES


by ANNA HEROD

Union Pacific Railroad officials have decided not to press trespassing charges against a man who was hit by a train April 8 near the Charles Austin Drive crossing.

Officials considered citing the man for illegally crossing the tracks, Union Pacific spokesperson Jeff DeGraff said, but ultimately decided not to pursue legal action.

The man is still being treated for “severe injuries” at University Hospital in San Antonio, DeGraff said.

The man was wearing headphones while crossing the tracks and likely did hear the freight train’s warning horns, DeGraff said. The train was traveling at about 21 mph when it struck the man, DeGraff said.

“If you’re going to be anywhere near a train or railroad tracks, we ask you to take the earphones out so that you can pay attention whether you’re walking in a designated crossing area or somewhere else,” DeGraff said.

Walking across or alongside railroad tracks is “inherently dangerous,” DeGraff said.

“A train coming down the tracks is not able to stop as quickly as a car might, and they certainly cannot swerve out of the way if someone is on the track in front of them,” DeGraff said.

Components of a freight train can extend up to six feet away from the railroad tracks, according to the Union Pacific Railroad website. Said DeGraff, “We try to educate people to stay away from them.”

ANNA HEROD reports for The University Star, the student newspaper of Texas State University, where this story was originally published. It is made available here through a news partnership between the University Star and the San Marcos Mercury.

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