Reporting Christie Ileto
JOPPA, Md. (WJZ) — An Aberdeen man is hit and killed by a train. And now police say he never heard it coming.
Christie Ileto explains that’s because police say Kevin Scott Street was wearing earbuds at the time and never heard the conductor sound the horn.
He’s the latest pedestrian to be killed because he wasn’t tuned into his surroundings.
Officials say Kevin Scott Street was walking on railroad tracks near Joppa Road when a 20 car freight train hit and killed him.
“The train had activated their horn to alert the pedestrian they were coming, but the pedestrian neither heard nor saw the train,” said Edward Hopkins, Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
Police say Street, wearing earbuds, turned around too late.
This week’s accident makes him the latest pedestrian killed by a train because he tuned out his surroundings.
In 2010, Middle River resident Anna Stickle was killed by a train crossing railroad tracks. She too, wearing earbuds.
“We were laughing and joking and we didn’t hear it, and I heard it a split second before she did and I turned and ran,” a friend of Stickle said.
A study prompted by the disturbing trend shows in 2004, 16 people in the U.S. were injured while walking and wearing headphones. That number tripling by 2011.
More than half of the moving vehicles involved–trains.
“If you’re plugging up your ears from alarms and sirens and horns, you’re certainly going to open yourself at risk for injury and possibly death,” said Dr. Richard Lichenstein, University of Maryland.
While studies show this dangerous behavior is a growing trend, police tell WJZ accidents of this nature are uncommon for the area.
“Very rare for the most part. Typically they happen in more populated areas where there are more rail tracks and more people would cross the tracks on their own,” said Hopkins.
But police say this week’s fatal accident is a cautionary tale to Maryland pedestrians: to pump down the volume and tune into your surroundings.
The train was heading from Florida to New Jersey.
Street’s body is at the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.