Thermopolis youth struck, killed by train Sunday morning; Ruled an accident

A 12-year-old boy listening to an MP3 player and wearing ear buds failed to hear a train coming from behind despite blasts from the train’s air horn and wandered into the path of a BNSF locomotive in Thermopolis Sunday morning and was killed.

Police Chief Shay Steven said Gavin Jacobsen of Thermopolis was walking northbound adjacent to the train tracks at 9:38 a.m. when the train approached. “The engineer sounded the air horn, but the boy inadvertently walked into the path of the train and was struck. He died at the scene,” Steven said. “The accident occurred some 200 feet south of the intersection of Broadway and the railroad crossing there on the east side of Thermopolis.”

The police chief said a Thermopolis police officer was nearby on a dog call and heard the train horn and waving from the engineer caught her attention and she responded immediately.

The train was ordered held at the site by the BNSF Train Master, who lives in Powell, the chief said. “The train was stopped for a good period of time, I’m not sure how long, until the train master could drive down here,” he said.

Steven said he had no knowledge of any other fatal train pedestrian incident in Thermopolis.