Fatality reported in Edmonds Friday morning as person struck by freight train

Emergency vehicles at the scene of the fatality Friday morning. (Photos by Larry Vogel)
Emergency vehicles at the scene of the fatality Friday morning. (Photos by Larry Vogel)

train 2Updated at 9:25 a.m. with additional details from police.

Edmonds police are reporting that the fatality on the train tracks at Sunset Avenue and Caspers Street Friday morning was an apparent suicide.

Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Mark Marsh said that witnesses reported that a man was walking on the tracks southbound directly toward an oncoming northbound freight train with his hands up at around 7:25 a.m. The train sounded its horn several times but the man did not move and was hit, Marsh added.

The train had activated its emergency brakes and did come to a stop approximately 750 feet north of Main Street, blocking the roadway leading to the ferry dock. Edmonds police officers, traffic investigators and detectives are currently at the scene investigating. The man has not been identified yet, Marsh added.

Sunset Avenue is completely blocked with emergency vehicles. The Edmonds-to-Kingston ferry that had been loaded with cars when the incident occurred just left the dock for Kingston, but the intersection where the ferry loading occurs at Main Street and Sunset is completely blocked, and there is no train traffic going through.

Marsh said that ferry traffic will be disrupted for an undetermined amount of time. Officials with Burlington Northern/Santé Fe are working to clear the roadway crossings as quickly, and currently both the Main Street and Dayton Street crossings are blocked by the train, he added.

— Reporting and photography from Larry Vogel, at the scene, with additional information from an Edmonds police news release

  1. Not to make less of this very unfortunate circumstance. This is a prime example of why the City of Edmonds needs to build an alternative to get to the other side of the tracks when they are blocked. This needs to have happened yesterday. We are leaving ourselves vulnerable.

    1. It doesn’t sound like this person wanted to “get to the other side” that you are talking about……..This person wanted to COMMIT SUICIDE and could have done that anywhere along the railroad tracks. An overpass or underpass would have made no difference to anyone with his intention……And yes, it is sad that certain people in this city would exploit this tragedy for political reasons.

      1. Tere, by no means am i trying to exploit politics. Im am trying to portray the immediate need for an emergency access across the tracks. Friday morning for several hours, and countless other times parts of Edmonds have been blocked off from emergency care.

  2. So very very sad that this individual felt he had no other choice, which is exactly what research and statistics show- is that most people who commit suicide wouldn’t, if they felt there was any hope for relief of the despair they feel. Usually they feel that all their loved ones would be less burdened without them. Such a complicated issue, as the mental health care system in our country is so lacking- not to mention the misunderstanding and stereotypes associated with brain disorders.
    But even SADDER is the fact that within hours of this man’s death, that any of us would be more concerned with how we can avoid being “delayed” to work, appts, etc. in the event that this happens again?? Not even sure what to say about that, except hopefully the people who were “delayed” from their busy lives, had a few moments to reflect not only on how blessed they are, call their loved ones, and maybe vow to reach out to someone they know who is lonely and struggling? Many prayers to this man’s family, and wishing things had been different for him. So sad.

  3. This shows the need for an over- or underpass to connect that part of Edmonds (businesses and residences) to the main city for emergency service accessibility when trains are going through town. And not “just to get to work,” but rather to serve the people west of the tracks in times like these.

  4. We cannot always protect ourselves from ourselves, waisting my money on an over/underpass would not have saved this Lost soul…

    1. My comment was toward the other folks on the west side of the tracks who had no access to emergency services during the long investigation. This person could not have been saved, but neither should others be endangered. We need 24/7 access across/under the tracks in case of fire, medical emergency, crime or other life-threatening need that might occur there during a train’s occupancy of the tracks.

      1. Bruce, that makes to much sense, its not like you could use a horrible situation, realize the faults, and make better of it.

  5. Right Peter, I understand that- and agree. As you said yourself though, “not to make light of this very unfortunate circumstance” ….there’s a time and a place. Maybe for a day or 2, the time is to focus on a young life lost, and reflect on this tragedy. The issue of needing an alternate route in these circumstances is valid. Hopefully you can direct your enthusiasm and ideas for this in an appropriate forum.:)

  6. If you want a proper place to discuss the issue of ways to get to the waterfront and trains and safety all in on place you can go to this link for the MEN reporting and discussion of two waterfront issues: Crossings and safety along Sunset Ave along the tracks. https://myedmondsnews.com/2013/11/two-possible-waterfront-projects-create-stir-edmonds-city-council-meeting-monday/ If this link does not work you can go to the search function above and search council traffic study and you will get to the article mentioned above. Or you can just go to the recent reader response area and I will have posted a note to help you get to the article that way.

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