CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — Two men struck and killed by a LYNX Blue Line light rail train Tuesday morning in south Charlotte were conducting a memorial for their brother who was struck and killed in the same spot last week, police confirm.
Officers said Pablo Tiquiram Us, 29, and Jose Tiquiram Us, 20, were walking north on the southbound tracks just after 5 a.m. Tuesday morning when they were struck by a train. Medics pronounced both dead at the scene.
Police said the two men had been conducting a memorial for their brother, 27-year-old Baltazar Us, who was killed in the same location on July 26 when he reportedly drove around the crossing arms into the path of an oncoming train.
“It’s a very tragic incident,” said Police Sgt. Adam Jones. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. I can’t imagine losing your children, your siblings within a week to such tragic circumstances.”
Authorities said all of the safety mechanisms for the CATS line where the incident happened were working properly.
The conductor of the train stopped after the two brothers were hit. Police said they suspect impairment was a contributing factor for both men.
CMPD said the investigation into the collision is still ongoing.
Operation Lifesaver North Carolina, a non-profit whose mission revolves around reducing the number of deaths at rail crossings, says this trend continues because of how distracted people can be.
“People always ask … ‘How do you get hit by a train? They’re so loud, they make so much noise, they’re so heavy, they blow their horn,'” Operation Lifesaver executive director Margaret Cannell said. “You can’t always depend on hearing a train. They’re much quieter until they get right up on you.”
Cannell said it’s difficult for a train to stop quickly because it’s not designed to do so.
“For example, the light rail system we have here in Charlotte takes 600 feet. That’s two football fields for a train to come to a stop. By the time they see you, it’s too late,” she said.