Union Pacific completes investigation after train hits, kills cyclist

A man riding a bicycle was hit by a train on E. Hopkins St. in San Marcos, July 14, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)
A man riding a bicycle was hit by a train on E. Hopkins St. in San Marcos, July 14, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Union Pacific has wrapped up their investigation into the death of a man who was hit by a train near downtown San Marcos on July 14.

According to Union Pacific, their investigation determined that 23-year-old Evan Kistner was riding his bike on a sidewalk next to the road. Investigators say when the conductor saw the bicyclist they activated the train’s horn, but Kistner did not respond to the warning signals.

The investigation revealed Kistner wasn’t looking left to right as he approached the train tracks. Evidence was not found that he was wearing earphones or was distracted by a cell phone.

The City of San Marcos says they do everything by the law to make sure pedestrians are aware that a train could be coming.

“There is a certain amount of signage that is required at each intersection on both sides. You can hear the bells. And typically, if you are at the pedestrian crossing you will be able to see the flashing red lights and you can see the arms come down,” said City of San Marcos Engineer Rey Garcia.

Railroad crossing signs are posted on both sides of the sidewalk, however some say there needs to be more to catch the attention of those walking or biking.

“There should be more signs, with sounds and emergency lights or something because it is dangerous,” said Naida Ruelas, a woman visiting the park with her family.

The downtown area of San Marcos is considered a quite zone, so unless there is something in the way, trains will not activate their horn. The speed limit for trains at Hopkins Street near City Park where Kistner was hit is only 30 miles per hour. However, Union Pacific says the train was traveling below 25 miles per hour upon impact.

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