Pedestrian Killed by Train near Slaughter Creek in Austin, TX
Austin, TX -- September 24, 2021, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a train on tracks near Slaughter Creek in south Austin.
Authorities say the incident happened around 12:30 a.m. near Slaughter Creek and Meadowsouth Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests the pedestrian was either walking on the tracks or was trying to cross them when the train approached and struck him. The train stopped at the scene and the operator cooperated with investigators.
The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Pedestrian Train Accident near Slaughter Creek in Austin
Some people write off accidents like this pretty quickly since they can't conceive of a way someone isn't at fault for being hit by a train. However, I always say serious accidents warrant careful investigations, and the fatal incident in Austin is no exception.
Here's why I say that: I've litigated all kinds of serious accidents over the past few decades. The circumstances of most probably wouldn't be surprising, but sometimes highly unusual elements are found during investigations--by which I mean our investigations, because police sometimes miss the crucial details that entirely change how these accidents are understood.
For example, there was an incident in San Antonio not long ago where a train hit and killed a young woman. There was a great deal of speculation for months about what happened before a video surfaced showing the victim outside a local bar and highly intoxicated. We learned through further investigation that she became disoriented walking home from the bar and accidentally wandered onto the tracks before passing out and being struck a short time later. When that information came to light, justice demanded that the establishment that over-served her be held accountable for its role in the tragedy that befell her.
I want to be clear: I have no specific knowledge of anything similar happening before the victim's encounter with the train in Austin. It's simply important to keep in mind that until more facts are known many unexpected variables could be involved. No one should leap to any judgments as investigators try to make sense of the matter, and instead should focus on what can be done to help the victim's loved ones in this trying time.