Phoebe McPherson, Managing Editor
Article updated on 9/26/14
On Wednesday evening, an unidentified female was hit by Amtrak Downeaster Train 688 in what has now been confirmed by Durham Police Chief David Kurz as a suicide. The accident occurred near the Bennett Road overpass in Durham.
It was confirmed by Durham Police Deputy Chief Rene Kelley that the victim was alone on the railroad tracks.
The train was making its way to Boston from Brunswick, Maine.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., the Durham Police Department received a call from Amtrak in accordance to the accident.
“The train called in immediately,” Kurz said.
Kurz declined to give the name or any more identifying information about the victim.
“We’re working on identifying the deceased,” he said.
He seemed confident that the victim was not a student from the university and wanted to reassure parents of the University of New Hampshire community.
“I don’t want parents to worry,” he said. “We’re pretty comfortable it’s not a UNH student … but we’re still working on confirming that.”
Multiple agencies responded to the incident including the Durham Police Department, New Hampshire State Police and Amtrak K-9 unit.
According to their Twitter (@RideRail), Amtrak trains 688 and 689 were both delayed.
The incident remains under investigation.
According to Foster’s Daily Democrat, this is the third death by the Downeaster in less than three months. Both of the other fatalities occurred in North Berwick, Maine.
As of Thursday afternoon, police have not made a positive identification of the victim, but there is still strong evidence to suggest that the victim was not a UNH student.
“This is still a fluid investigation,” Kelley said.
The body is currently undergoing medical examination in Concord.