A man in his 70s was killed Thursday morning after walking in front of a FrontRunner train at the Orem station.
At about 4:53 a.m. two men were crossing in the correctly designated crossing area, as a northbound FrontRunner train approached the Orem Station from Provo, according to Carl Arky, spokesperson for the Utah Transit Authority.
Arky said that the initial investigation and video surveillance shows that the younger man noticed the train coming, and hurried across the path of the train. The second man, however, didn’t acknowledge the train’s approach.
“He appeared to be a distracted pedestrian, and was struck by the train in the crossing,” Arky said.
UTA anticipates that the train was traveling at 20-25 mph in that area as it decelerated to stop at the station at the time of the incident. FrontRunner trains can reach up to 79 mph in straightaways and stretches.
According to Arky, the crossing area has warning signs and zig-zag fencing that requires people to walk in a zig-zag pattern as a way to get people’s attention before they come in the path of a train.
“But, for whatever reason, he didn’t acknowledge the train,” Arky said.
UTA’s typical protocol in situations like these, according to Arky, is to implement emergency braking and to lay on the horn. However, he said that these situations happen very quickly and the trains cannot always stop in time.
“We really rely on the help of the public and passengers to be diligent, to keep their head up, eyes open and ears on high alert,” Arky said.
The incident caused some delay in service from the Orem station, though by 6:15 a.m., UTA reported that trains had resumed regular service.
The identity of the man killed has not yet been been released.
“We express our condolences to his family, his friends and his colleagues,” Arky said. “Any loss of life is tragic.”