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Neighbors react to fatal Amtrak crash near Guadalupe

Neighbors close to where yesterday’s deadly train accident took place are now hoping for some safety enhancements to railroad tracks across the city to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.

It was an accident that took people like Patricia Castillo by surprise.

“Shocked – very shocked. It’s pretty sad cause I used to see him all the time with the guys here,” Castillo said.

She used to walk along the tracks with 59 year old Luis Cervantes before he was hit and killed by an Amtrak train Monday afternoon.

“For me it’s just to get away from everything or just have a piece of mind or time to think,” Castillo explained.

People like Robert Ponce who lives near where the accident happened however, would like to see less people trespassing on the rails and for law enforcement to increase their presence.

“Maybe they could come around and patrol more and watch the individuals as they walk down the track and tell em: “Hey – stay off the track!” or do something cause you know it happened once – it’s gonna happen again,” Ponce said.

Union Pacific owns the railways that cut across Guadalupe. Justin Jacobs, Director of Media Relations says safety is their number one priority.

“Our goal is to have zero incidents across our network but it goes both ways; educating and having the community and individuals understand their responsibilities when interacting with railroad tracks is equally as important. We’re always out there trying to get the safety messages and education out there as often as we can.”

Amtrak responded to the collision Tuesday night, saying:

All individuals should exercise caution around railroad tracks and crossings. Amtrak continues to work closely with Operation Lifesaver (OLI) to communicate the dangers of grade crossings. Each year, about 2,000 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents nationwide.  

You can contact your Union Pacific district representative with suggestions at https://www.up.com/aboutup/community/community_contacts/index.htm.

We reached out the city of Guadalupe for comment and are waiting to hear back.

Melissa Newman

Melissa Newman

Melissa Newman is a multi-media journalist for KSBY News. You can send her story ideas at mnewman@ksby.com.
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