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December 11, 2002

Former Alden man killed at Ames rail crossing

From: Iowa Falls Times Citizen, IA - 11 Dec 2002

AMES-Thirty-year old Jonathan Schutt of Ames, formerly of Alden was killed Sunday morning when his bicycle was stuck by a Union Pacific Railroad train at the crossing on Duff Avenue in Ames.

According to Ames Police Department Detective Sergeant Mike Johns, Schutt was pronounced dead at the scene.

Schutt was riding southbound on the crossing,s pedestrian walkway when he was stuck by the eastbound train.

"Based on our own information, all of the safety equipment such as the gates and operational lights were all functioning properly...this appears to be a tragic accident," Johns said. We have talked to a few people who knew him, and Mr. Schutt was known to have a hearing problem. We do not know if he had his hearing aids on at the time of the accident."

Johns said the Ames PD will be conducting an accident reconstruction, but did not know when the process would be completed.

The accident has brought up safety concerns about the crossing on Duff Avenue. Three train-pedestrian fatalities have now been reported at the same crossing since 1999.

Mark Davis, a spokesman for Union Pacific said the two-man crew aboard the train asked for and received peer counseling a short time after the accident occurred.

Johns noted that the crew could not have stopped the train in time, but generally accidents such as these are traumatic for them as well.

"Chances of an accident occurring in Ames are greater, because the railroad path bisects the entire community," Johns said.

Schutt graduated from Alden High School in 1991, and had been employed in the food service department at the Hickory Park Restaurant in Ames.

© Iowa Falls Times-Citizen 2002