Man killed by train named
The Christchurch man who died after being hit by a train in Lincoln Rd has been named.
Murray Bruce Miller, 26, was killed when he tried to cross the railway line just after 10pm yesterday.
Police said initial inquiries indicated Miller and another person were walking along Lincoln Rd towards Moorhouse Ave when Miller appeared to have tried to outrun the train.
Lights and bells were sounding at the time and the barrier arms were engaged.
Miller was hit by the train and was carried some distance down the line.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lincoln Rd was closed for about three hours while a scene examination was conducted.
The death has been referred to the coroner.
A KiwiRail spokeswoman said the train driver had been stood down.
It had been a "very unnerving and traumatic experience" for the driver, she said.
He had been stood down for a minimum of three days, as was "standard" in such a situation.
"We always offer counselling to our drivers. It's an awful thing for them to go through," the spokeswoman said.
"Some decide to come back to work after the three days and others take longer. It's about whatever is best for them personally."
She said the company's thoughts were with the "family and friends of the young man who died".
"We are also looking after our staff, who are obviously very upset about this incident,'' she said.
Before last night's fatality, KiwiRail's records showed the only incident at the crossing since 1980 was a non-injury collision between a vehicle and a train in 2001.
Train movements through Lincoln Rd were usually between 20 and 26 within a 24-hour period.
The railway line speed at the crossing is 50kmh.
The spokeswoman said the company urged people to take heed of the warning signs and alarms at level crossings.
"They are there for a reason. Trains are heavy and cannot stop quickly or swerve. We ask that people always make sure the lines are clear of trains before crossing."
She said KiwiRail supported any proposals for grade separation of level crossings and was happy to work with roading authorities.
Simon Brown, the manager of nearby Cargo Bar/Bean Scene, said he believed the intersection was safe for pedestrians.
"I don't think it is dangerous. There are flashing lights and barrier arms that come down whenever a train goes past,'' he said.
"Our bouncers are also looking out for people who may have had too much to drink and make sure they're not just wandering around."
Brown did not know whether the man had been drinking at the bar before the accident.
"I can't comment. I don't know any details of what happened last night," he said.
"I can say that we've never had an incident with that intersection in the past."
Richard Sinke, owner of nearby Dux Live, said it was difficult to control patrons once they left the premises.
"We work very closely with the liquor licensing agencies and police to make sure we provide a safe environment for our patrons. However, it is hard once patrons leave any bar to be responsible for their behaviour," he said.
"We obviously don't serve drunk people, but there is a major problem with people preloading before showing up to the bars.
''The city council also puts on many events, in Hagley Park or at Addington Raceway, where people drink all day and then wander the streets afterwards. It's not safe, and then the bars get the blame if we turn them away."
Dux Live was not open last night.
Sinke said he had never seen an accident at the Lincoln Rd railway crossing.
"I cycle and drive and walk through that intersection all the time. It has extremely high traffic volume, but I've never seen any issues. It's pretty well lit up with lights and arms."
The manager of a Lincoln Rd bar, who did not want to be named, said she could not understand how someone could get hit at the intersection.
"There are big arms and flashing lights. You'd have to go around them to get on to the tracks, and the trains are very loud. I can't see how you wouldn't see a train. It's pretty safe there," she said.
"Most of the trains run very early in the morning. Not that many go through the intersection."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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