Train kills man, 24, in city of Kingston
KINGSTON, N.Y. — A 24-year-old man who died Wednesday morning after being hit by a train as he was walking next to the tracks “didn’t respond to the train’s whistle as it approached behind him,” according to police
Kingston Police Detective Lt. Patrick Scanlon said investigators don’t know why Kurt Woelki, 24, who was living at the Darmstadt Shelter at 40 Thomas St., was walking so close to the tracks that he was hit by the train.
Scanlon said Woelki suffered massive traumatic head injuries to which he succumbed at Albany Medical Center, where he was airlifted not long after the 8:30 a.m. accident.
“He was not crossing the tracks, walking on the beds or between the tracks,” Scanlon said.
“But, he was walking to the left, parallel to the track and so close that the train clipped him on the side of the head as it passed,” he said.
Scanlon said Woelki was walking away from Darmstadt Shelter in the direction of the town of Ulster when the accident occurred near the intersection of Foxhall Avenue and Cornell Street.
“He was off to the left of the track and didn’t respond to the train’s whistle as it approached behind him,” Scanlon said.
Scanlon said the CSX conductor and engineer tried to stop the train, but Woelki didn’t break his stride.
“There was nothing they could do,” Scanlon said. “Trains go forward and back, not to the right or the left.”
Scanlon said a train can weigh as much as 14,000 tons and take a long time to come to a stop. Continued...
“I can’t emphasize enough how dangerous it is to walk on or near rail tracks,” Scanlon said. “People don’t realize the power that’s bearing down on them.”
State police and CSX Transportation Police assisted in the investigation.
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