NORMAN, Okla. – Norman police said one man has died after a collision involving a pedestrian and AMTRAK’s Heartland Flyer in Norman.
Just after 9 a.m., police were called to an area near Boyd and Classen, not far from the University of Oklahoma campus.
“These are really difficult investigations for our investigators to see, and it’s also very difficult for those engineering and conducting those trains as well,” Norman Police Public Information Officer Sarah Jensen said. “These tend to be very graphic scenes, very difficult for all involved.”
Norman is a “quiet zone” for trains, but students said they did hear a train horn around the time of the crash.
“I actually heard the Flyer blow its horn a really long time,” Eric Green II told News 4. “I see that a lot when people cross, they will blow their horn really long, so I thought someone must have walked in front of there.”
Officials said a train can blow its horn in Norman but it’s only in certain situations.
“If they do see something on the tracks or nears the tracks, something they are concerned about, they will sound their horn,” Jensen said. “That probably alludes to the fact that the conductor did see something on the tracks and attempted to alert the individual prior to the collision.”
Students said people rushing to beat a train is common in Norman but a grim scene like this will make them think twice before doing it again.
“It’s definitely something you have to really take into account, that everything can change in an instant,” Jackson Kronberg said. “Let’s say you kinda trip on the train tracks trying to make that jump, it all just kinda flashes before your eyes.”
According to the Norman Police Department, this is the first pedestrian to die from being hit by a train this year.