Somehow, this one went under the radar earlier this week.
According to the Orange County Register, 51-year old Rafael Romo was walking his bike north on Richfield Road when he ducked under the railroad crossing barrier on Orangethorpe Ave around 8:15 pm Monday.
He was standing on the south tracks waiting for an eastbound train to pass on the other tracks when he was hit by a train headed west at 48 mph. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The paper notes that it’s unsure if his death was an accident or may have been suicide. However, the latter seems unlikely if he brought the bike with him, rather than leaving it behind when he stepped under the barrier.
This serves as yet another warning to never go under or around railroad crossing guards, even if it seems safe at the time.
This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Orange County. Romo is also the 19th SoCal bike rider to be killed by a train since 2011, which is the easiest type of collision to avoid.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rafael Romo and all his loved ones.
Did he not see the other train coming, or did he assume the first train would finish in time to get off the other track?