PRESS RELEASE from the Bemidji Police Department
On December 5th, 2019 at approximately 4:50 p.m. the Bemidji Police Department responded to the area of Washington Avenue at the railroad crossing on a report of a male who had just been struck by a train. Officers arriving on scene spoke with several witnesses who stated they observed a male standing on the east side of Washington Avenue on the railroad tracks. The male was facing the oncoming train. At one point he stepped of the tracks but then stepped back on to the tracks just as the train reached his location. The train engineer stated he saw the male but was unable to stop the train. The engineer heard the impact and saw objects fly into the air.
Other witnesses stated they saw the train impact the male and knock him to the ground. Witnesses stated the male then stood up, collected some belongings from the ground and then walked southwest to Washington Avenue.
Officers located the impact area in the snow along the south side of the railroad tracks. There was no sign of injury or the male. Officers followed foot tracks in the snow to the area on Washington Avenue described by witnesses. Numerous officers searched the area on foot and with thermal imaging equipment however, the male has not been located. Residents in the area are asked to check their properties, garages and vehicles. Local hospitals have been notified of the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bemidji Police Department at 218-333-9111