Amtrak train hits, kills man on tracks near Halethorpe

October 17, 1990|By Frank D. Roylanceand William B. Talbott | Frank D. Roylanceand William B. Talbott,Evening Sun Staff

An Amtrak passenger train en route from Boston to Washington today struck and killed a man walking on the tracks near Halethorpe.

Baltimore County police said the No. 67 Amtrak "Night Owl," consisting of two engines and 11 cars, was traveling about 105 mph when it struck the man at 7:20 a.m. just north of the Halethorpe Maryland Rail Commuter station.

It rolled another two miles before it came to a complete stop.

County police asked Amtrak to close all four tracks in the area while rescue workers searched the two miles of track for the man's remains, police said.

Parts of his body fell on the track in front of commuters waiting at the Halethorpe station.

Investigators found a hospital identification card along the tracks bearing the name of a 34-year-old man said to have a history of trespassing on Amtrak property. They were attempting to determine whether the card belonged to the man who was killed.

Amtrak spokesman Howard Robertson said the tracks in the area are not fenced because it is so close to the Halethorpe commuter station.

Northeast Corridor rail traffic through the area was shut down from 7:53 a.m. until 8:16 a.m., when two tracks were reopened. Train speeds were restricted to 10 mph.

At 8:37 a.m. a third track was opened, and speeds were raised to 60 mph, Robertson said.

The Night Owl's trip was terminated at Halethorpe, and its passengers were transferred to MARC commuter train 409. The passengers were delayed 55 minutes in all.

Three other Amtrak trains and five MARC commuter trains were delayed by the accident for 12 to 35 minutes, Robertson said.

The Night Owl locomotives and passenger cars were held at the scene until the state medical examiner could remove the man's remains, he said.

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