An unidentified individual was killed in a train accident just off of East Campus Tuesday evening.
An eastbound Amtrak train struck the pedestrian who was trespassing the tracks at approximately 7:43 p.m. near the intersection of Buchanan Boulevard and West Main Street, about one mile west of the Durham Amtrak Station. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. On-scene Durham police officers described the individual as an older man—likely not a Duke student and possibly homeless.
The train and its passengers remained at the site of the accident until 9:55 p.m. while authorities investigated the scene, said Amtrak spokesperson Vernae Graham. Several police cars lined Main Street near the entrance to East Campus. Police and emergency medical services also filled the parking lot behind Dominos on the southwest corner of Main and Buchanan.
Piedmont Train 76 was traveling from Charlotte to Raleigh and was expected to arrive at the Durham station at 7:50 p.m. The train was traveling at approximately 55 mph as it was pulling into the station when it hit the pedestrian. There were 35 passengers on the train, and no passengers or crew members sustained any injuries, Graham added.
She noted that the maximum speed of a Piedmont train is 79 m.p.h., and there is not much a train conductor can do if they see something or someone on the tracks.
“All they can do is brake and wait for the impact,” she said.
After the train left, police officers cleaned the victim’s remains off of the tracks. Officers noted that the man had been walking along the track before the train hit him, despite a nearby sidewalk.
Check back for more updates on this developing story.