A pedestrian was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Middle River Tuesday morning in a gruesome incident that disrupted travel for hundreds of passengers, according to Amtrak and Baltimore County emergency officials.
As Amtrak worked to transfer passengers from the No. 20 Crescent train to two other trains moving through the area, police officers held up tarps to block their view of the scene, officials and passengers said.
The Crescent train from New Orleans to New York struck the pedestrian — identifed Tuesday afternoon as Kenneth Joseph Grabenstein, 55, of Delaware — just before 11 a.m. in the area of Orems Road and Entrance Drive, officials said.
"Witnesses, including the train engineer, said they saw the victim standing in the middle of the tracks, facing the train as it approached," Baltimore County Police said in a statement. "The engineer said he was unable to stop the train."
The train's speed at the time of the accident will be determined as part of the investigation, Amtrak officials said. The maximum speed for Crescent trains in the area is 110 mph.
The initial investigation shows that Grabenstein may have committed suicide, county police said, but Amtrak Police will continue to investigate.
None of the 144 passengers on board the train were injured. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., 80 were transferred onto the No. 2164 Acela Express train and the rest were transferred onto the No. 176 Northeast Regional train, said Craig Schulz, an Amtrak spokesman.
The Acela train was carrying 264 passengers, while the regional train had 466 passengers. All experienced about an hour-long delay, Schulz said.
All Amtrak trains on the Northeast Corridor moved through the area at reduced speed through Tuesday afternoon, though associated delays were minor, Schulz said.
Daniel Jacobsen, a passenger on one of the trains that picked up the Crescent passengers, called the scene near the front of the Crescent train — which he saw from his window despite the tarps — "disturbing."
Most people, however, seemed unaware that someone had been killed, he said.
"The conductor on the overhead speaker only told passengers that we were taking on passengers from a disabled train and asked [us] to make room," Jacobsen said in an email from the train. "I don't think most of the passengers on the train know what happened or saw the scene."
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