Parkville police continue investigation after man hit, killed by train

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PARKVILLE, Mo. — Parkville police continue their investigation in which a man was hit and killed by a train this weekend.

A surveillance video captured footage of the incident just before 7 p.m. on Saturday showing 41-year-old Christopher Burdick of Kansas City walking across the tracks on Main Street. He was then hit by a train headed westbound.

“Lights were on, arms came down and don’t know why the gentleman walked in front of the train,” Captain Jon Jordan said immediately after the crash. “He passed away at the scene after being struck by the train.”

Authorities said that when it happened, people may not have noticed immediately even though the Parkville Microbrew Festival was wrapping up nearby.

For some people living in the area, the trains become background noise.

“We love it at night. It’s hauntingly beautiful. Like that is probably the best way I can say it,” said Lynn Leif, who has lived in Parkville for years.

“Obviously if there’s a way to make those crossings even safer – as they are, I know there are the arms, there are the lights, obviously the train horn sounds. But if there’s any way to make that even safer, that’s obviously ideal,” said Parkville resident Landry Gwin.

“You at least want to be like 30 feet away,” Hunter Blankenship said – quoting advice from his mother.

“At least, right?” asked FOX4’s Jacob Kittilstad.

“Mmmhmm, I don’t get any closer than that. It just gets too loud,” Blankenship said.

So how and why did the pedestrian get hit? Authorities say that is still under investigation.

“From my experience, trains – they’re huge. So they don’t look like they’re going very fast when they’re coming at you. So you misjudge your ability to get across. It can lead to a tragic incident like this,” Capt. Jordan said.

Parkville police say that Burdick was walking someone back to a vehicle immediately before the train hit him. Police said he was not leaving the park or brewfest, and he had just left a restaurant nearby.

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