The double fatalities occurred early last Tuesday outside Charlotte, where a LYNX Blue Line train fatally struck two men on the light railroad tracks.
Pablo Tiquiram Us, 29, and his younger brother Jose, 20, were walking up the tracks around 5 a.m. when they were struck by the oncoming train, Charlotte police said. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the two were on track to hold a memorial for their 27-year-old brother Baltazar Tiquiram Us, who was struck by a train while in his car on July 26.
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“They had commemorated their brother on the one-week anniversary of his death, and they were leading a memorial near the site where he was killed,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg police sergeant. Adam Jones said at a press conference Wednesday. “Unfortunately, the two brothers were also hit by a train while on foot and both succumbed to their injuries quite quickly. “
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All security measures were functioning properly around the train tracks at the time of the deaths, officials said in a press release. Baltazar is said to have bypassed a crossing arm in the path of the train.
Authorities suspect alcohol is a factor in all three deaths.
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In the latter case, the conductor stopped the train immediately after the two men were hit.
Trains may seem like an easy hazard to avoid, but they can sneak up on distracted people on the tracks, according to Margaret Cannell, executive director of Operation Lifesaver North Carolina. The nonprofit is dedicated to reducing railway crossing-related deaths.
“People always ask… ‘How do you get hit by a train? They’re so loud, they make so much noise, they’re so heavy, they blow their horns, ”Cannell told local broadcaster WJZY. “You can’t always count on listening to a train. They are much quieter until they stumble upon you.
The police investigation is ongoing.
– With files from the Associated Press