On average, about 500 people are killed each year by a train in the United States. Union Pacific reported every three hours, a person or vehicle is involved in an accident with a train. That may sound scary, but compared with traffic accidents the odds of it happening to you are slim. Still, it happens, and unfortunately, it happened this morning in Abilene, Texas.

Friday, June 7th, 2024, a man tragically lost his life after being struck by a train while walking east alongside the train tracks at South 1st Street and Leggett. The man has yet to be identified, and very few details have been released.

Most of us have walked alongside train tracks before. When you're a teenager, there's something kind of cool and romantic about taking a stroll down the tracks with your pals. While it may seem like fun, it's highly illegal and dangerous. Train tracks are also all private property, so nobody is supposed to be hanging out around them without proper permission anyway.

It's important to remember that trains do not have the same ability to stop on a dime as automobiles do. It takes a train the length of roughly 18 football fields to slow down to a stop. They also appear to be going much more slowly than they are. 55 mph is usually the speed at which they travel and our eyes often play tricks on us while traveling alongside them in traffic. Optical illusions can make a train "sneak up on you" quickly without you even noticing, which is one of the biggest reasons pedestrians don't make it out alive. You always think you have more time than you do.

Take a moment to educate your kiddos on the dangers of walking along train tracks and be sure to tell new drivers in your family to use extra caution when they see a passing train.

For more updates on the train accident in Abilene this morning, click here.

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