The Ottumwa Courier

July 8, 2013

Train strikes, kills pedestrian in Fairfield

CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier Staff Writer

FAIRFIELD — A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a train in Fairfield Saturday night.

At approximately 6:10 p.m. Saturday, a BNSF train struck and killed a pedestrian on the railroad tracks nearly a mile east of D Street in Fairfield.

Amy McBeth, BNSF director of public affairs for the region, emphasized that the accident occurred on the railroad tracks but not at a designated crossing.

"We had train traffic stopped until about 10 p.m. [Saturday], when the tracks re-opened," McBeth said. "That's typical when an incident occurs."

The victim's name has not yet been released. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

According to Federal Railroad Administration data compiled through April 30, there have been eight casualties involving BNSF trains so far this year in Iowa, four of which were from a single incident in Batavia. The other four involved injuries of BNSF employees on duty.

On April 1 in Batavia, a train going 58 mph slammed into a minivan containing a mother, Tara Lewman, and her three children, two of whom were killed. According to the accident report, Lewman drove around the railroad gates, but her vision was obscured by railroad equipment on the tracks, so she did not see the oncoming train.

Fairfield Police have not yet returned calls for comment.