Meriden Police have released the name of the man who was struck and killed Wednesday by an Amtrak train in Meriden.
Police said 57-year old Robert Levack, of Grove St. Meriden, was killed in the incident. Police believe it was an apparent suicide.
Original Story - Wed.
A man was struck and killed by an Amtrak train near Old Colony Road and Gypsy Lane Wednesday morning according to Meriden Police, in the third likely suicide on this stretch of tracks in three months.
Both Amtrak and local police were on scene investigating the death late morning Wed., at the railroad bridge that runs over Gypsy Lane.
The victim is an adult white male who parked his car near the tracks and police believe intentionally walked on to the rails at about 11 a.m. this morning, Meriden Police spokesman Det. LT. Mark Walerysiak said at the scene Wednesday.
Police found identification on the victim but are not releasing his name until family has been notified, Walerysiak said.
The Amtrak train involved was number 470, a shuttle en route to Springfield from New Haven, according to an Amtrak service advisory on its website. The 46 people on board the train were uninjured, according to Amtrak.
Two passengers disembarked the train around noon, and were overheard to be headed to New Haven by taxi. Other passengers and crew left the train later for a bus provided by Amtrak, according to the Meriden Record Journal. The train left its spot in Meriden where the incident occured, after about 12:30 p.m. Service on the line returned to normal at about 2 p.m., according to a service advisory.
This is the third death on the same stretch of tracks that runs through Wallingford and Meriden in less than three months. On Dec. 5, 2011, , just over the Wallingford line. Then on Jan. 6, a by a train further into Wallingford, near 1001 North Colony Road. Both deaths were ruled suicides, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Residents of a trailer home community that abuts the tracks to the west say the recent uptick in deaths on the tracks there is unusual for the site.
"This rash lately has been terrible," said Jeanette Fullerton, who was out walking with a friend Tuesday and watching police work on the tracks up a short incline from her home. Fullerton said she has lived in the community for 12 years, and had heard of a train hitting someone near there only once before the recent deaths.
"They should put something there to really separate us from the train tracks," Fullerton said.
The tracks are raised up above the neighborhood, but the incline is an easy climb, and currently there is no fence or other physical divider on that side of the rails. On the north side, where the victim's car was parked, there is a chain-link fence, but the tracks are accessible through a gate and other openings.
Fullerton was home during the incident and heard only the brakes of the train and then sirens – the same sounds the women working at Meriden-Wallingford Veterinary Hospital on the opposite side of the tracks did.
"It is a sad, sad thing," said Lisa Byrd, office manager at the clinic, said, watching police and a medical examiner walk around the tracks.
Check back with Meriden Patch for more details as they become available.
Corrections: We originally listed the incorrect train number, this has been changed. We also said passengers were still on the train when it left, but our reporter was on the other side of the tracks when they indeed disembarked to a nearby bus, and recieved incorrect information.