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True Detective Stories

By Wyatt Earp | July 4, 2010

So, how did you spend your Independence Day Eve? I’m guessing you had a better time than we did in the division, because we were not only very busy – summer nights will do that – but we also had to handle a terrible call. After spending six years in a district with an elevated train, five years in a district with Amtrak rails, and five years in a division with local rails, it’s a call I’ve seen far too often.

A Septa train hit and killed a person as they walked along the tracks south of the Fern Rock station Saturday. Police say an individual was struck and killed by a southbound train around 7:20 p.m. Officials say all passengers on board the train were bussed to Center City.

Police are working to identify the victim.

Crimes scenes like these are absolutely terrible. I mean, you really have no idea. The victim is a white male, probably in his 50′s, with gray hair. He was wearing a white baseball cap and blue jeans. He did not have identification on him. If you think you know the victim, please call Philadelphia Police at 215-686-3352, or 215-686-3353.

Topics: True Detective Stories | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “True Detective Stories”

  1. C/A Says:
    July 4th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    The news is reporting his ID. He was reportedly wearing headphones.
    I know what you mean. I’ve had enough people killed by the third rail that I have the procedure for recovering them memorized.

  2. RT Says:
    July 4th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Sad. Just saw the same reports.

  3. mrmacs Says:
    July 4th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Today has been a weird day. Two suicide attempts in the same day. We are a small volunteer rescue squad (

    And that was just during daytime. Who knows what will happen tonight.

  4. Old NFO Says:
    July 4th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Those are sad…

  5. Wyatt Earp Says:
    July 4th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Captain – That would debunk the “suicide” angle, I guess.

    RT – Yeah, a terrible way to go.

    Mrmacs – It’s always worse at night, especially on a holiday.

    Old NFO – Yeah, you never forget them.

  6. AJ Lynch Says:
    July 4th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Wyatt: seems like there has been an uptick in these train accidents in the last six months. I wonder if some are suicides.

  7. Ace Says:
    July 5th, 2010 at 8:07 am

    The main line between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg runs through this area and unfortunately, we hear about pedestrian/train accidents a lot. It was about this time last year that a woman and her one of her children were killed. They were crossing the tracks when the stroller got caught. The two older (still very young) kids saw their mom and baby get hit.

  8. Crankipants Says:
    July 5th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    What music was he listening to?

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    July 5th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    AJ – We know of two recently in our division. This one? Not sure.

    Ace – Jesus, what a nightmare.

    Crankipants – Probably .

  10. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    July 5th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I was thinking more along the lines of this:

    Cocaine makes you do crazy things…Like sing with Cher.

  11. Lergnom Says:
    July 5th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    “uptick in these train accidents in the last six months. I wonder if some are suicides.”

    Well, the economy’s in the dumper and folk who prided themselves on being able to pay the bills are seeing shutoff notices and foreclosure signs. It wears on a body, sometimes to the extent of just ending it all and hope the insurance pays off.

    And for those who don’t take pride in paying the bills, they fall back on three words:
    Long Hot Summer

  12. Dave Says:
    July 5th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    I can certainly sympathize with you on this one, Wyatt. I have worked my share of train v pedestrian incidents, and walking down a mile of tracks at 3 a.m. in February looking for pieces of a body is not my idea of a good time.

  13. Bloviating Zeppelin Says:
    July 6th, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Yep, BTDT. I am also friends with Union Pacific engineers. They all tell me there isn’t an engineer on the job for 5 years who hasn’t killed someone with their point locomotives, either in a vehicle or on/near the tracks or by way of suicide.

    I too have been to train v person calls. Train 1, Person 0. Always. With person plastered on the pilot or the knuckle and quite some ways down the track.

    “Alcohol may have been involved.”


  14. Rick Says:
    July 6th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    A Belaed happy Indepenence Day.
    Try to stay sane.God Bless you and all of the men and women that make up the Thin Blue Line.

  15. JCM Says:
    July 6th, 2010 at 5:28 pm


    I spent 20 years on FD with major rail lines.
    I hear you, cleaning up is always trying.