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Man dies after stepping in front of Downtown train

An adult man who stepped in front of a train on the Union Pacific tracks in Tucson was declared dead at the scene Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

The man, whose identity has not been released pending notification of his family, was struck by the train around 4 p.m. near the railroad crossing at East Toole and North 7th avenues, a Tucson Police Department spokeswoman said.

Witnesses told investigators that the man was standing inside the activated crossing arms as the train approached, "and stepped in front of the oncoming train," Sgt. Kimberly Bay said.

Even at the slower speeds trains travel in the Downtown area, trains can require hundreds of yards or more to stop.

"The conductor and engineer of the train immediately began using the emergency braking system. Despite their efforts, the pedestrian was struck before the train could stop," Bay said in a news release.

"The Tucson Police Department would like to remind pedestrians and bicyclists to stay clear of railroad tracks at all times, except when crossing at designated areas. When crossing at the designated areas, obey all warning devices and signals," Bay said.

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Roadway deaths, year-to-date

2015 2016
Total 16 15
Pedestrian 4 3
Bicycle 1
Motorcycle 3 4

Source: Tucson Police Department