Suicide or accident? Man killed by train shortly after argument

Sep 29 2011 - 11:48pm

SUNSET -- Police have identified the man who was killed when struck by a FrontRunner train late Wendesday night.

Robbie Natthan Lucero, 22, was killed on the train tracks about 400 to 500 yards north of the 2300 North crossing. The area is unlit and not a designated pedestrian crossing.

Sunset Police Chief Ken Eborn said a Utah Transit Authority train engineer called emergency responders about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, saying he believed he had just hit a person on the tracks.

First responders found Lucero dead on the tracks.

Eborn said Lucero has ties to the Sunset area but is not a resident, noting that Lucero and his girlfriend have been homeless for some time and living out of a car.

Before he was hit by the train, Lucero and his girlfriend had been drinking in the parking lot of Meadows Park, 2376 N. 690 West in Sunset, Eborn said.

"They got into a pretty heated verbal argument," Eborn said. "Then at some point in time, he just took off."

Minutes after Lucero left the park, his girlfriend heard the train come to a screeching halt, Eborn added.

Police have not determined if the death was a suicide.

"We're still trying to figure it out. Was it an accident? Was it intentional?" Eborn said. "We don't know yet."

Eborn said Lucero never threatened suicide to his girlfriend.

Police are waiting for state toxicology reports to come back.

The train would have been traveling close to its top speed of 79 miles per hour, said Utah Transit Authority spokesman Gerry Carpenter. UTA sent shuttle buses to take passengers on the train north or south to the Clearfield and Roy stations so police could keep the train stopped and investigate. UTA does not believe any passengers saw the accident, Carpenter said.

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