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Fuquay-Varina woman killed in Raleigh train crash

Posted February 6, 2013

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— A Fuquay-Varina woman was killed Wednesday evening in a train crash near downtown Raleigh, police said.

According to a wreck report, an SUV driven by Lynette Renee Fowler, 42, was parked in a parking lot near the intersection of Hoke and Blount streets shortly before the crash.

As the Amtrak train approached shortly before 5 p.m., the arms of the crossing gate came down and warning lights flashed, but Fowler tried to cross the tracks and was struck, the report states.

Fowler was ejected from her SUV and pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was in the vehicle, police said.

Erskin Walker, who works in the area, said he saw the wreck.

Raleigh train crash Police ID victim in deadly Raleigh train crash

"We just ran down there to help the lady, and we saw her on the ground," Walker said. "Her body was twisted up."

Police are investigating how and why Fowler's SUV wound up in the train's path.

Walker said he can't understand it.

"Her brakes went out or something. It had to be her brakes go out," he said. "She just went into it, just went right into the train."

The train was pulling in for a Raleigh stop on route from New York City to Charlotte, an Amtrak official said. It was delayed about three hours, but no one on board was injured.

29 Comments

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  • WRALinsider Feb 7, 2013

    This is tragic. Ms. Fowler was charged with embezzlement in May 2012. I hope she didn't take her life because of her circumstances. I pray for her and her family.

  • JDAmbrosio Feb 7, 2013

    Close friend's husband works that line (was not on the train at the time) and said the "delay" is for several reasons - emergency workers have to work the scene and help anyone who is injured, police need to wrap up their investigation, coroner has to remove deceased, tow truck has to remove the vehicle, track inspection, train inspection, signal inspection, drug test, and a NEW train driver MUST continue the rest of the way - you are not allowed to continue driving the train if someone is struck or is in a vehicle and the vehicle is struck. There are lots of reasons, so in essence 3 hrs is not really all that long.

  • Skywatch_NC Feb 7, 2013

    Prayers and thoughts with Ms. Fowler's family.

    *****************************************************

    When my Dad worked for state water quality he went to the scene of a dump truck/Amtrak train collision in Aug. 2005 in South Raleigh to investigate to see if there was any diesel fuel spill in the ground soil as a result of the situation. Sadly, two men from the dump truck died and the train engineer had minor injuries.

  • dsalter Feb 7, 2013

    Very tragic. But why was the train delayed 3 hours? It's not like it had any witnesses or control over the accident.

    Hello!! The train hit the car. The engineer is an eye witness. I am going to assume you just haven't had your coffee yet this morning.

    chattycat

    Probably because the Federal Transportation Safety board had to make their investigation. A train is a commercial vehicle. I don't know their rules, but as a former truckdriver I can tell you this. We were regulated by the D.O.T. If a truck causes a fatality...regardless who was at fault...the driver is required to take a drug test. And that is time consuming.

  • sinenomine Feb 7, 2013

    daddyankee - "Have Amtrak accidents always been this prevalent?"

    Assuming that these have all been Amtrak accidents, the implication is that Amtrak is somehow responsible for all of them.

    I don't know the details of any of the incidents, but I do know that

    - A train can't take an alternate route or stop on a dime. Even when it can slow appreciably that usually doesn't help the person on the tracks.

    - In most cases train/car collisions are caused by "pilot error" on the part of the automobile driver.

    - If by "pedestrian" you mean a person walking along a railroad right-of-way that person is by definition a trespasser. That doesn't give the railroad a right to kill him, and makes his death no less tragic, but it does indicate some degree of negligence or assumption of risk on the part of the "pedestrian" aka "trespasser".

  • whydoyoucare Feb 7, 2013

    Sidecutter- the ladder truck has rescue tools. They go to all major crashes where extrication may be required.

  • kikinc Feb 7, 2013

    daddyankee- These accidents happen a lot more than you would think, especially when people aren't taking precautions. Don't walk on train tracks, don't try to drive around downed crossing arms, don't stop on the tracks due to traffic (if you don't have room to cross, STOP). These are the reasons for the accidents you listed. These accidents will keep happening if people don't wise up.

  • Sweet summertime Feb 7, 2013

    So sad. Praying for family.

  • Sweetgrl3 Feb 7, 2013

    It is sad. No one knows what really happened or what made her decide to cross the tracks. Very tragic. Praying for her family.

  • n4cer Feb 7, 2013

    daddyankee They happen a lot more than people realize. The sad thing is that a train vs car wreck is one of the most preventable wrecks, if people would just stop look listen and/or not stop on the tracks there would be less though they would still happen in cases of suicide. Its not like the train can stop in time or swerve out of the way this one is mostly on the people in the cars or walking on the tracks.

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