A man was killed early Tuesday morning after his car collided with an RTD A-line at Aurora crossing in near Denver, Colorado.
The train was traveling to the Denver International Airport when it crashed into an SUV on the tracks around 3:35 a.m., according to Fox 31 Denver. Police say that the train pushed the van about a quarter-mile before being able to stop. The news source reported that the SUV was crushed and “destroyed.”
58 people were on the train, and the A-Line’s spokesperson claimed that there were some minor injuries.
While the backstory of the driver is not yet fully known, Aurora Fire reported that the individual was the only passenger in the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene, but his remains have not yet been identified. The car collided with the train at the intersection of Chambers and Smith Road.
— Channel 2 KWGN (@channel2kwgn) February 14, 2017
This is a surely a somber moment for the Aurora police and Fire Department. We have all seen movies and TV shows that show the horrors of car and train collisions and the fright that such a threat poses. Who has not studied, in depth, the risk of train collisions during Driver’s Education or watched the real-life documentaries relaying the dangers of not looking both ways when crossing railroad tracks.
Sadly, train and car collisions are far too common. Just last week on February 7, 2017, a 15-year-old girl was killed in just such a crash in Post Falls, Idaho. KREM 2 reported that she was not the first in the town’s recent history to collide with a train, according to Post Falls Police Chief Scott Haug.
“Two years ago, two school-aged girls were in a car that was hit by a train in the same intersection. The girls were both injured, but the collision was not fatal.”
Tuesday morning, a man faced the horror and fright of such a collision. Meanwhile, those inside the train–especially the conductor–must have also experienced terror and shock.
Emergency workers cut through fence to access A-Train after fatal collision in Aurora. pic.twitter.com/9VSCyheBX4
— Kirk Mitchell (@kirkmitchell) February 14, 2017
The local Denver Fox station also noted that the RTD had various issues, and some wonder how much that contributed to the crash Tuesday morning.
“RTD has had several issues with the crossings along the A Line since it opened in April, including the use of around-the-clock guards. It’s not known if a crossing issue led to the crash.”
The Denverite reported that the incident might have been caused by a malfunction in the crossing arms, but there is no confirmation yet that that played a role in the collision.
“The crossing was being staffed by an off-duty police officer and a flagger, as the A Line has had continuing problems with the timing of its crossing arms’ function. It is not known whether any malfunction on the line played any role in this collision, according to Aurora police.”
However, the off-duty officer did see the danger at hand and tried to stop the driver from crossing the tracks, according to Sgt. Chris Amsler. His efforts were ultimately in vain. The driver crossed the intersection and immediately collided with the RTD A-Line. Amsler said that the crash left the off-duty officer “showered with debris.”
— Daryl Orr (@WxTrackerDaryl) February 14, 2017
In an effort to accommodate train passengers who had to catch flights out of Denver International Airport, RTD tweeted that bus shuttles would be arriving to offer transport. So far, the site has not been fully cleared, nor is the train back to running properly. Local news stations have advised nearby travelers to take alternate routes to avoid the crash scene.
“While police clear and investigate the crash, Chambers Road is closed in both directions and Smith Road is closed at Chambers Road and at Airport Boulevard,” the Denver Post reported.
This is a developing story. As more information is released–specifically concerning the driver and what led up to the collision–this article will be updated.
[Featured Image via Shutterstock]