Death on train tracks possible suicide

The death of a person who was hit early Wednesday by an oncoming 76-car Union Pacific train is being investigated as a suicide, the Mesa County Coroner’s Office said.

Grand Junction dispatchers were notified by Union Pacific around 12:38 a.m. that a train had hit a person before the train came to a stop near the intersection of 32 1/2 Road and Front Street, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department said.

The deceased person, whose name and gender have not been released by officials, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said the train of three locomotives and 73 rail cars was headed from Denver to Salt Lake City.

After a brief investigation, Davis said the train was moving again around 5 a.m., after the crew had been replaced. The original crew was “shaken” and was provided counseling services through Union Pacific, Davis said.

Davis said he didn’t know the train’s speed at the time the emergency brakes were applied. The speed limit for trains in the area is 60 mph, which would require roughly a mile and a half to come to a full stop, he said.

The incident was Union Pacific’s first fatal train collision involving a pedestrian in Mesa County since 2008, when two occurred, Davis said.


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