COBLESKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Sunday, New York State Police confirmed that a 51-year-old man who was hit by a train overnight in Cobleskill has died. Police said around 1:53 am this morning, they responded to a report of an accident in the Everett Street area in Cobleskill. Police said he later died on the scene.
Safety has always been an issue for many residents in the area, particularly when crossing the train tracks. Margaret Barber is a lifelong resident and said her family knows the dangers all too well.
“It is a hazardous thing to do,” Barber said. “I know because my Uncle got hit by a train down there. He did die, and there is no way of stopping it. You can’t stop a train.”
Officer Anthony Desmond of Schoharie County Police said it is difficult for trains to stop when they are traveling at such high speeds.
“If the engineers see somebody on the track, they just can’t stop that train on a dime. It takes a while for it to stop because there’s a lot of weight pushing it,” he said.
Schoharie County officials said there are several reasons why many decide to cross the tracks- despite the do not trespass signs.
“Over the years, we’ve had at least five people that I’ve investigated the accidents with that have been hit by trains,” Officer Desmond said. “Four of them were killed, and one had his legs amputated by the train running over him.”
Officials said it’s best for residents to always be careful around railroad crossings and tracks.
“People just try to cross it when they shouldn’t,” Officer Desmond said. “Or there are a couple of crossings that people still don’t pay attention to the crossing signals or listen for when the trains come. It turns out to be a very undesirable ending.”
According to State police, they are still investigating the accident and cannot give more information at this time.