Cyclist dies in crash with METRORail train

July 22, 2013 8:17:09 PM PDT
A college student is dead after being hit by a METRO train Monday morning. She was the fourth person to be hit by a train this year.

The question is, does something need to change to improve safety around the light rail trains? The woman was getting off one train when she was hit by another.

While it's still unclear why the woman rode her bike out in front of the light rail, other cyclists are wondering if something could be done to prevent this from happening again.

Witnesses saw a gruesome scene after a young college student was struck and killed by a METRO light rail train. She got off of a northbound train, then got onto her bike and was hit while crossing in front of the southbound train.

"I don't know if she fully looked to the right. It was nothing the guy that was driving the train could have done," said one witness, who identified himself only as Sam.

The accident has raised questions about the safety of light rail trains for people who ride bicycles. Riders say there could be more signs and barriers to prevent someone from getting in front of a train.

"There could be some more clear boundaries, maybe louder noises, signals suggesting when to go, lights that are brighter," cyclist Jaime Olmo said.

Bicycle crashes with light rail trains are on the rise.

In 2011, there were four pedestrian crashes with light rail trains. None involved bikes; one was fatal. In 2012, there were five pedestrian accidents; one of those was on a bike and none fatal.

But already this year, there have been four accidents with pedestrians; three of them were on bikes. Monday's crash was the first fatality of 2013.

METRO says the key is awareness, that people need to look and listen. The deceased rider reportedly had headphones on, and witnesses believe its possible she did not hear the train.

METRO is still investigating this case, but say so far, it appears to be just a tragic accident.

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