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Tragedy strikes

Bicyclist killed in crash with METRO light rail in downtown Houston

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woman on bicycle killed by METRO light rail July 2013
A crumpled bicycle, in center of photo, lies near the METRO train. Photo by Marika Rafte
woman on bicycle killed by METRO light rail July 2013
Police cordoned off the area at Main and Walker. Photo by Marika Rafte
woman on bicycle killed by METRO light rail July 2013
woman on bicycle killed by METRO light rail July 2013

A woman on a bicycle was killed in a collision with a light rail train in downtown Houston Monday morning, a spokesman for METRO confirmed to KHOU Channel 11.

The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. on Main street at Walker street. An account by METRO indicates the college student, who has not been identified, exited a northbound train at the Main Street Square station with her bike, walked it to the intersection and immediately got on it at Walker and rode away, crossing the intersection when she was hit by an oncoming southbound train. The train lurched to a stop approximately 20 yards later with the woman’s body pinned underneath.

A METRO official told CultureMap in an email that eyewitnesses say the train operator was blowing a horn when the accident occurred.

Eyewitnesses told the Houston Chronicle that a barefoot woman was riding a bicycle down the tracks and they screamed for her to get out of the way as the train approached and hit her. One witness said he saw the victim's feet sticking out from under the rail car. She was not wearing shoes.

The Houston Fire Department dispatched a heavy rescue unit to the scene and requested the Harris County medical examiner for the deceased individual. One person was injured and transported to a nearby hospital.

The intersection at Main and Walker is expected to be shut down through at least early afternoon as Houston Police Department officials investigate the incident.

Rail service has been suspended between the Downtown Transit Center and the UH Downtown platform. Buses are transporting patrons until rail service resumes.

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