MIAMI- A BNSF train struck and killed a 27-year-old Miami man, Christopher M. Bynum, as he was walking on the railroad tracks just off east BJ Tunnel in Miami on August 19.
According to the Miami Police Department's incident report, at 11:50 a.m. that day Bynum was walking southbound in the center of the railroad tracks as the BNSF train was approaching from behind. Bynum was first spotted on or near a railroad bridge behind the Miami Nursing Center when the train's staff first saw him.
The train's engineer and conductor told police investigators that the engine's horn was sounded numerous times, approximately 20 times, in an effort to get Bynum's attention and get him to move off the tracks.
The BNSF train's crew also engaged the emergency brake in an attempt to stop before striking Bynum.
Despite the train crew's efforts the train struck and killed Bynum on impact.
The report indicates it is unknown why Bynum did not move from the railroad tracks and it is suspected but still unknown if he was wearing headphones or an ear piece, according to Miami Police Sgt. Jason Arnold.
The Miami PD report lists the weather as clear at the time of the incident.
The BNSF Railroad tracks run at a 45-degree angle across Miami and cross Tar Creek at two points on 22nd and at Rockdale Blvd. Pedestrians are sometimes seen using these tracks to cross these areas.
According to Arnold, railroad tracks are considered the property of the railroad and are private property making it illegal to walk on the tracks.
“This is a tragedy for all involved, and we just want to remind pedestrians to stay off railroad tracks for their own safety,” he said.
Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.