BEMIDJI – Although a train allegedly struck a person in Bemidji on Thursday, Dec. 5, authorities have not been able to locate the individual and witnesses said the male walked away from the scene.
The Bemidji Police Department issued a statement on the incident, which occurred around 4:50 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of a railroad crossing and road in south Bemidji. Multiple witnesses told police they saw a man standing on the east side of the road on the tracks and that the man was facing the oncoming train. The man allegedly stepped off the tracks but then stepped back on just as the train reached the location.
The train's engineer told officers he saw the male but wasn't able to stop in time. "Then engineer heard the impact and saw objects fly into the air," the release said.
The release said other witnesses saw the train knock the male to the ground. The witnesses then told officers they saw the male stand up, collect some belongings from the ground, and walk away. Officers located the impact area in the snow along the south side of the railroad tracks. There was no sign of injury or of the male.
Although multiple officers searched the area on foot and with thermal imaging, they were unable to find the male. The Bemidji Police Department asked residents to check their properties, garages and vehicles. Local hospitals were notified of the incident. As of Friday afternoon, there was no update on the search for the male. Anyone with information is asked to contact the department at (218) 333-9111.