Train Surveillance Video Shows Moments Before Cyclist Hit, Killed
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Transit Authority released two pieces of surveillance video Thursday showing the moments leading up to a cyclist being hit and killed by a FrontRunner train July 19.
The videos—recorded from a camera stationed at the railroad crossing and from the viewpoint of the train’s operator—show 23-year-old Cameron Hooyer riding over the tracks around 11 p.m., even as warning lights flashed and the crossing arms had already been lowered.
“We feel for the family; we feel for Cameron,” said UTA spokesperson Carl Arky. “It’s a tragedy. It’s a tragedy that’s unnecessary.”
Hooyer was part of a late-night cycling event called 999 Ride that occurs each Thursday night in Salt Lake City. A portion of the group had to stop and wait at the crossing along 900 South for a Union Pacific train to pass.
Immediately after the freight train went by, cyclists began to ride over the tracks before the gates lifted and lights stopped flashing. Another flood of people crossed the three sets of tracks once the lights turned off and the gates went up.
However, the period of safety lasted for only 15 seconds before the lights started flashing again and the gates lowered for an approaching FrontRunner train. Even so, some cyclists continued over the tracks.
“To have that many people trespassing, and technically they were trespassing because as you can see from the video, they’re going underneath the crossing gate, they’re going around it,” Arky said. “They’re not paying attention to the lights, they’re not paying attention to the bells. The operator’s leaning on the horn. He’s blasting away.”
In the video recorded from inside the train, the horn can be heard sounding for 15 seconds before the fatal impact.
Arky said the law requires 20 seconds of warning at a railroad crossing. In this case, the lights came on and started to flash about 25 seconds before the Frontrunner train hit Hooyer.
In the future, Arky said UTA is encouraging 999 Ride to let officials know about their planned route so that police officers can be stationed at railroad crossings.
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