Murfreesboro’s first responders are urging citizens to stay off the train tracks after two people were hit by trains within two days of each other.
“Walking on train tracks is dangerous and illegal. Most don’t realize how quickly a train can approach you, and it takes quite a bit of time for it to stop,” said Murfreesboro Police Department Lieutenant Greg Walker.
Last week, a 24-year-old man was injured by a train after walking along the railroad with his head down. The locomotive driver saw the man and blew his horn several times to alert him. When the man continued looking down, the driver attempted to slow down but could not stop in time. As a result, the train hit the man in the shoulder, knocking him over. He was conscious after the accident and called the police himself. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment and is recovering.
Two days after the accident, on Thursday, two 18-year-old women were walking down the CSX railroad bridge with a dog, when a train came over the bridge. Both women attempted to run, but only one of the women made it off the bridge. The other woman and the dog were hit by the train and fell nearly 35 feet to the ground. The woman was awake and alert, but she had several injuries. She was flown by a LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt Medical Center to recover. Responders searched for the dog, but the pet was not recovered.
“From a distance, it’s hard to hear a train coming. Train tracks are dangerous, and no one should ever walk on them,” said MFRD Rescue 4 Captain Chief Matt Young.
According to the police department, railroad tracks are private property, and trespassers could face charges for trespassing. According to the Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration, in the United States, 400 people are killed and almost 400 injured by trains yearly due to trespassing.
“More than often, it doesn’t end well when a person encounters a train. Simply avoiding walking on a train track can potentially save a life,” Lieutenant Walker said.
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