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SALT LAKE CITY — Two videos released by UTA officials Thursday show the moments before a cyclist participating in a large group ride was struck and killed by a FrontRunner train last week.
Cameron Hooyer, 23, of Salt Lake City, died after he was struck by the train on July 19. He had been participating in the “999 Ride,” a weekly Thursday-night event for a group of area cyclists.
Hundreds of cyclists traveled down 900 South to the railroad crossing at 600 West shortly before 11:15 p.m., according to UTA spokesman Carl Arky.
One video from a surveillance camera at the crossing begins as the final boxcars of a Union Pacific train pass through the railroad crossing. Scores of bicyclists move through the crossing before the arm is raised.
About 20 seconds later, a digital signal lights up to alert bystanders to an incoming FrontRunner train, and the crossing arm begins to swing down again. About five bicyclists cross after the arm has fully lowered, even after other cyclists have stopped; at least one cyclist is seen waving frantically for others to move faster
The video also shows one cyclist who begins to ride over the tracks and quickly turns around as the northbound train approaches.
Hooyer is seen at the tail end of the video. He passes a group waiting at the crossing arm and enters the crossing area. The video ends right before the collision.
“To have that many people trespassing, and technically they were trespassing because as you can see from the video, they’re going underneath the crossing gate, they’re going around it,” Arky told KSL. “They’re not paying attention to the lights, they’re not paying attention to the bells. The operator’s leaning on the horn. He’s blasting away.”
In the second video, an angle from the train, the train's horn can be heard blowing for 15 seconds before Hooyer is struck. Like the first video, it ends just before the fatal collision.
Arky said last week the train was traveling about 45 mph and could not stop in time. He said the incident should remind people to not enter a railroad crossing when lights are flashing.
"It's always a tragic loss and we feel for his family, his next of kin, his friends. But we're also grateful that it wasn't worse. There could have been far more people injured or killed tonight," Arky said at the time.
Contributing: Ladd Egan, KSL TV