Bicyclist killed by Amtrak train; investigation ongoing
By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Fri., Jul. 22, 2011
Windsor Locks resident David Balasz, 44, was killed after being struck by an Amtrak train on the morning of Saturday, July 16.
Amtrak media relations spokesman Cliff Cole said Balasz was struck at an intersection between the train tracks and Route 140. He was traveling on a bicycle at the time.
Windsor Locks Police Chief John Suchocki, Jr. said the police department responded to the accident after it was reported, but the investigation was turned over to Amtrak after the scene was cleared.
The train was traveling from New Haven to Springfield, Mass. Approximately 35 passengers were on board, along with several crew members. The stoppage of the train did not result in any injuries.
Cole said the incident remains under investigation, as of July 21, and Amtrak in New York is working to determine several factors about how the accident actually occurred. At this time, no wrongdoing on the part of Amtrak is suspected.
“At the rate of speed the train goes, it is very difficult for a conductor to be able to slow down in the instance that a person is found to be on the track,” Cole said. “It is a tragedy that this happened.”
Right now, the investigation is centered around how fast the train was going, and why Balasz was on the train tracks in the first place.
"It is illegal and considered trespassing for anyone to be along the train tracks,” Cole said. “It is Amtrak property. People should not be walking on or along the train tracks for any reason.”
Amtrak is handling the investigation because the incident took place on its property, Cole said.