A Tacoma runner who died Thursday night after being hit by an Amtrak train near Ruston Way has been identified as Cale Tyler.
Tyler, 31, and his wife were with a running group when the accident occurred about 7:30 p.m. at Ruston Way and McCarver Street.
Witnesses told police they watched a northbound freight train go by but do not think Tyler saw or heard the Amtrak train.
“The freight train had passed and he was kind of in the back of the group and the Amtrak train hit him coming from the other direction,” fellow runner Libby Lindstrom told KIRO-TV. “Everyone made it except for him.”
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The outing was part of the Tacoma Runners’ weekly 3-mile Beer Run, which ends at a pub or restaurant.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas said the group reportedly ran around the railroad crossing gate after the freight train passed, at which point the man was hit by the Amtrak train.
No one else was hurt.
Tyler is the 23rd person hit and killed on BNSF tracks in Washington this year, Melonas said. That’s the highest number of such fatalities in the past decade.
Derek Young, co-founder of Tacoma Runners, posted on the group’s Facebook page about the “heartwrenching accident” and asked the 150 or so members to keep Tyler’s family in their thoughts.
“You are our family in so many ways,” he wrote. “We may not know everyone personally, but this is the group that anchors so many of our lives in this community. This has hit us very hard. There are no words. My heart aches.”
Courtney Moore met Tyler through the runners group about two years ago.
Moore said he was a welcoming person who made the people he knew feel loved.
“He lit up every room he walked into,” she said. “He was one of those people who are just instantly family.”
Tyler worked as an ultrasound technician who spent as much time outdoors as he could, Moore added.
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Staff writer Adam Lynn contributed to this report.
Friends have set up an account to help Cale Tyler’s wife, Jen. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/caletyler. By Friday afternoon, the page had raised nearly $2,300.