A 55-year-old SeaTac man was struck and killed by a Sounder commuter train Wednesday afternoon in Kent, according to the Kent Police Department.
Sound Transit paused services on all Sounder trains for two hours Wednesday afternoon. It was the second time in two days that a train fatally struck someone in Kent. A 20-year-old man from Seattle was hit by an Amtrak Cascades train while walking on the tracks Tuesday morning, according to police.
The King County Medical Examiner ruled both deaths suicides.
The areas where both men crossed had functional crossing arms to block cars and pedestrians from the tracks, according to a Facebook post from Kent Police.
Earlier this week, a pedestrian was killed by a train in Titlow Beach in Tacoma, KIRO reported. And a 55-year-old woman was killed by a train in Kent two weeks ago as she crossed the tracks.
Each year, about 2,000 people are killed or injured on train tracks nationwide, according to an Amtrak spokesperson. There have been nine fatalities this year on BNSF railways, the state’s largest network of rail lines; there were 20 fatalities in 2018.
The Seattle-to-Portland corridor is particularly prone to injuries and deaths because a relatively large number of trains travel there and because the railroad often separates people from the waterfront, meaning people are more prone to cross tracks dangerously, BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas said.
Pedestrians should exercise caution around trains, Sound Transit spokesperson Scott Thompson said, and be aware that there are two or more sets of tracks along the Sounder corridor from Everett to Lakewood. A train being stopped on one track doesn’t mean a train isn’t using the other track, he said.
People should also be aware that train activity doesn’t stop when the sun sets, he said.
“The railroad tracks in the Puget Sound are very active with Sounder, Amtrak and freight trains,” Thompson wrote in an email. “All hours of the day and night.”