A teenager walking on the railroad tracks while wearing headphones was hit and killed by a train Thursday morning, police and railroad spokesmen said.
“The engineer blew a horn and put the emergency brake on when he saw the teen on the tracks,” Fort Worth police Sgt. Raymond Bush said. “The teen did not hear the train.”
The victim, whom authorities had not identified by Thursday afternoon, was pronounced dead at the scene, Bush said. He is believed to be 14 to 17 years old.
The accident was reported about 7:15 a.m. Thursday near Wayside Avenue and Interstate 20, at the Fort Worth and Edgecliff Village city limits. The train was southbound and the teen was walking in the same direction on the tracks, Bush said.
He was wearing a backpack and headphones, BNSF Railway Co. spokesman Joe Faust said Thursday.
“It did not happen at any crossing,” he said.
Faust said the train is equipped with a camera, which will be used to help authorities in their investigation.
He added that the train crew sounded a warning whistle “multiple times,” and investigators will listen to an on-board recording to learn exactly how many.
The federally posted speed limit for trains in the area of Thursday’s accident is 50 mph, but this train was moving at 30 mph, pulling 115 cars loaded with coal, Faust said.
He said a train that size, while moving at 50 mph, takes about a mile to stop with the crew applying full emergency brakes.
Faust urged people to be extremely careful near trains because they can’t swerve to avoid wrecks.
Fort Worth school district officials said they believe the teen was a student in the district, but they declined to identify which school he attended until the family was notified.
“Counselors have been on campus for a while,” school district spokesman Clint Bond said in an email.