Tucson Man Steps in Front of Train. Cops Think Suicide

Categories: Train!
An unidentified Tucson man stepped in front of a train yesterday afternoon and that's where he stayed until it ran him over. He died and cops suspect it wasn't an accident.

About 1:30 p.m. yesterday, the 45-year-old man was seen stepping in front of an oncoming train. Witnesses told police the man remained on the tracks even as the train's engineer was repeatedly blowing the train's whistle and flashing its lights.

Witnesses say the engineer tried to stop the train but was unable to do so before hitting the man.

It's unclear how fast the train was going when the man was hit, but it was going fast enough to kill him -- he died later at an area hospital.

Cops suspect the man's death was a suicide.

This has been a particularly deadly year in Arizona for train-related injuries -- Flagstaff leading the way.

In 2009, there were 17 train-related injuries in the Grand Canyon State. This latest death is the 19th train-human incident this year and the sixth death.

The tracks in Flagstaff played host to two of those deaths in less than a month.

In August, a man jumped onto a moving train from a bridge crossing in what cops determined was a suicide.

About three weeks earlier, another man, 47-year-old Johnnie Augustine, wasn't looking to kill himself, rather, he was hammered and thought he could win a race with a train. Unfortunately for Augustine, he was the silver medalist in that race. 

Morals of the story: you can't win a race with a train, and suicide-by-train is up there with the worst possible ways to kill yourself.

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Worst way to kill yourself? Doubtful, it wins on two of the main criteria, it's usually successful, and related to that, pretty darned quick. You'd be surprised to see all the gunshot attempts that fail, leaving the hapless self executor a vegetable or disfigured. Or the people who swallow a bottle of pills- is it better that they survived, or worse that they are even more of a failure to add to the reasons for their depression?I'm indulging in some black humour here, next month will be the anniversary of one of my good friends' decision to walk around the crossing gates in old town san diego and step in front of a speeding Amtrak coaster to LA. He was killed instantly. He didn't tell anyone why he did it, and weirder is he just got out 3 days earlier from spending 18 mos. in state prison. You'd think he'd be in good spirits, huh? RIP Scott, and the fellow that took his life in Tuscon. Maybe living is easier, when we realize we're actually dying.


You mean the "Engineer", not the conductor. The conductor takes tickets. The engineer drives the train.

James King
James King

My knowledge of train terminology is clearly lacking. Thanks for the heads up.


hey, whatever happened to the Valley Ho "Ho" with the shoe?


James King
James King

That's a terrific question. My colleague Ray Stern tackled that one. We'll look into it.

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