A 53-year old cyclist was killed after being truck by a train after he left BICAS on Saturday.
According to a Tucson Police Department press release, Carl Astrum was stuck by a train at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and Sixth Street outside 0f BICAS.
Astrum was taken to the hospital where he died nearly three hours later.
BICAS employee Colin Holmes, who was working at the time of the crash, said he didn’t know Astrum, but another customer said Astrum was using the tools in the BICAS metal shop prior to the crash.
Holmes said Astrum was alert and speaking to the paramedics as they loaded him into an ambulance.
Ronstadt said in the release that detectives determined Astrum was riding south on 9th Avenue attempting to make a left onto Sixth Street (east).
“At the time of the collision, he failed to stop for the lowered railroad crossing arms, and was southbound in the northbound lane of travel. As he turned eastbound into the westbound lane of 6th Street, he crossed onto the tracks. The Union Pacific Railroad train was traveling eastbound and struck Mr. Astrum from behind.”
The description of the crash above and the satellite map view appear to indicate Astrum may have been trying to squeeze between the tracks (which cross the intersection at an angle) and the building BICAS is housed in.
Last January the Union Pacific Railroad and City of Tucson worked together on modifying the intersection because it was one of the intersections with the most crashes.
The improvements included adding a median with bicycle cutouts to prevent motorists from turning left into or out of the intersection.
Astrum was determined to be at fault and nor charges were flied.
8 thoughts on “Cyclist killed by train in downtown Tucson had just left BICAS”
I frequently see cyclists and pedestrians make very poor choices at this intersection. I hope this horrible tragedy can serve as a reminder that railway barriers and stop lights and all forms of traffic regulation are there for a reason. Please friends ride in the same manner as every other vehicle on the road is required to drive, and hopefully we can avoid senseless deaths like this one.
This is one of those “keep your eyes peeled” intersections. And not just because of the trains. It’s tricky to see cars emerging from behind that tree in front of the BICAS building.
In short, it’s a good place to do what those old rail crossing warning signs said: Stop – Look – Listen.
I nearly got hit by a driver making an illegal left from the eastbound lane of sixth. She was staring at me angrily the entire time. I would like to see the median extended further west to prevent this.
The diagonal train crossing doesn’t help, obviously.
Another thing is that if you are coming out of BICAS and heading east, you will naturally take the route Mr. Astrum took to get across Sixth if there is no traffic, and that route actually evades the crossing arms completely, so if you aren’t paying attention they won’t be there to force you to.
It’s a bad intersection.
What is BICAS?
I should have included a link to BICAS. It is Tucson’s bicycle cooperative. Here is the link: http://bicas.org/
That intersection is a pile. I took it a couple times the first year I lived here, but before long I decided it’s not worth trying to dodge cars zipping down 6th… plus I’m [irrationally] always nervous about pinch-flatting on road obstacles like train tracks/uneven pavement. Whenever I go east from BICAS, I think it’s worth taking the extra minute to go north a couple streets and then head east.
I suppose if I live to be 200, Iget a velocipede.
Carl Astrum was my cousin. He lived at my place in the summers off and on in Minnesota for the last five years. He was a little different than most, a kind of free spirit. But Cuzzin’ Carl was a very kind and carring person. He was very very smart & could remember every place he had been & the name of every person he spoke to.
Cuzzin’ Carl was a cautious person so I find it difficult to understand how this could have happed to him! Such a tragedy!