Local man struck by train, city officials stress railroad safety

RAPID CITY S.D. (KOTA TV) - It is estimated that more than one thousand people trespassing on railroads died in 2016. Earlier Tuesday, a man could have became a part of that statistic at Pressler Junction but he leaves injury free.

Looks can be deceiving. On the train bridge near Omaha and Third Street, it may look like you can walk alongside the tracks, however there isn't enough room for both a train and a person. One man tried to fit Tuesday morning, and it could have cost him his life.

"Never cross a bridge that's intended for trains. That wasn't a pedestrian bridge that the gentleman was crossing it was just the train bridge. You find yourself in the middle of that bridge and then a train comes along, you're either going to jump into the creek or make contact with the train," says Eric Dwyer a Rapid City police officer.

City officials say signage around the tracks is the responsibility of the railroad company. Although there are signs indicating no trespassing, the man was intoxicated and may not have noticed them.

"The tracks- that is the private property of the railroad so they have no trespassing signs along the track route. Bottom line, all the signage in the world in this instance, we understand the person may have been intoxicated. All the signage in the world isn't going to change the behavior of individuals sometimes," says Darrell Shoemaker the communications coordinator of Rapid City.

Although train accidents are rare in Rapid City, this is a reminder of what can happen.