Train death puzzles - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Train death puzzles

Police, friend not sure why victim crossed tracks

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Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:00 am

RATHDRUM - The bizarre train-vehicle collision that killed a 33-year-old Rathdrum man on Sunday in Rathdrum has investigators searching for answers.

Henry John Parent Jr. was driving his 1992 GMC Jimmy westbound on a service road along the BNSF Railway tracks just east of the Highway 41-Highway 53 interchange at 8:20 a.m. when he drove over the tracks in front of the westbound train.

"There isn't a crossing within a mile (of where the collision happened)," said Rathdrum Police Chief Kevin Fuhr. "We really don't know what he was doing other than crossing the tracks at that location."

Fuhr said there was no evidence at the scene to suggest that alcohol or drugs were a factor. He said investigators also don't have a possible reason as to why Parent turned when he did.

"Train personnel had seen the vehicle crossing the tracks and had activated their horn," a Rathdrum Police press release states. "Parent's vehicle continued across the tracks and was struck in the passenger side by the train."

Parent, the lone occupant, was ejected from the vehicle and flown to Kootenai Medical Center via MedStar helicopter with internal injuries. He died at KMC Sunday night.

The Jimmy rolled over and was on its top.

Fuhr said a male friend was in another vehicle following Parent. The two were on their way to a friend's house and crossing the tracks in that area was not necessary to get there.

"It's odd that he tried to cross where he did," said Fuhr, adding that Parent's friend is also puzzled over the move. "There's no indication that shows he tried to move out of the way of the train. I don't know if he tried to beat it as much as the train simply came from behind him."

Fuhr said the speed limit for trains in that area is 55 mph, but he didn't know how fast the train was traveling.

Since the accident occurred on BNSF's property, Parent's friend who was following him may face trespassing charges.

An investigation continues. Police are awaiting toxicology reports to determine if intoxicants were a factor.

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  • My2sence posted at 11:22 am on Mon, Aug 22, 2011.

    My2sence Posts: 317

    Just for the record, I live in Rathdrum, & I don't do meth, or anything else.
    so with that being said, what a lucky break this guy got, last year I crashed on my dirt bike & I flew about 15 feet, this guy flew all the way to KMC, how about that huh? "Parent, the lone occupant, was ejected from the vehicle and flown to Kootenai Medical Center" ..I know, I know...tasteless & not funny.
    But on a more serious note, I need to know if it's just me or do other folks not see trains very well on the Meyer road crossing? I know it sounds stupid because there is alot of open space to be able to see a train, for miles, but twice now (in 3 years) just after I cross those tracks, ten seconds later, I see a train in my rear view mirror crossing those tracks, and I'm like "WHOA!, why did I not see that train?" Obviously I ALWAYS look both ways before I cross, even though you have to turn your head 130 degrees like an owl. I am a very cautious driver and always aware of my surroundings. I also noticed that a little ways East of there you can see hay bales stacked in the traditional rectangular fashion & tarped with what (at first glance) looks like train cars white, red, white, red, etc. people might get used to seeing that everyday, & not pay any attention to it, and to the West you have the tree line. I don't know. I know people are gonna say "open eyes saves lives" & such, and I'm ok with that, I'm not trying to make excuses....well actually I kinda am, but like I said, I would like to know if anyone else has had a close call or two right there.

  • Grrrrr posted at 8:09 am on Sat, Aug 20, 2011.

    Grrrrr Posts: 51

    WHOA!! Hold up there Joy... I will be respectful about this. HOWEVER, I certainly did not say my children were in any way friendly with the folks. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
    But you guys are going to make me do this huh..?
    Of the ten individuals who are currently incarcerated in the Kootenai County Jail. (not including minors in Juvenile Detention)
    The following arrests were made IN RATHDRUM for Possession of Controlled Substances:
    Arrest Date: 22:18:00 06/09/11
    Arrest Officer: A.CLEMENT
    Arrest Location: HWY 41 X LEGACY
    22:18:00 06/09/11 POSS PARAPHERNALIA

    Arrest Officer: J.JOBES
    Arrest Location: 7006 W HWY 53
    02:33:00 07/31/11 POSS OF CON SUB 1,2 DRUGS
    02:33:00 07/31/11 POSS PARAPHERNALIA

    Arrest Officer: B.WILLIAMSON
    Arrest Location: 4100 W RIVERBEND
    23:38:12 02/20/10 Cruelty to Children 23:38:12 12/02/10 Possess Cont Substance
    23:38:12 02/20/10 AT A PLACE W/ILLEGAL CONT SUBTANCE

    Arrest Officer: J.BAKER
    Arrest Location: 14530 HWY 41
    14:45:00 07/29/11 POSS OF CON SUB 1,2 DRUGS
    14:45:00 07/29/11 POSS PARAPHERNALIA

    So let’s have a little math lesson here…Of the 10 people in custody today..4 were arrested on a drug charge…FOURTY PERCENT!!!? If that number is any reflection on the actual crime rate in regard to drug activity in the city…THAT is a problem… a HUGE problem.

  • Always Curious posted at 2:21 pm on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    Always Curious Posts: 497

    Grrrrr .... sounds like you should be a little more responsible as a parent if that is true about your kids.

    Mine also go to Lakeland and think you are misinformed.

    Rathdrum is not drug free but it definitely doesn't equal meth.

    ...... and the article title is accurate, quire a few are puzzled.

  • Grrrrr posted at 4:41 pm on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    Grrrrr Posts: 51

    IDHAOKID doth protest too much!! (guilty much??)
    1) My kids go to Lakeland (and don't do meth) and they can tell you easily twenty teens and adults who do.
    2) I never said EVERYONE does meth in Rathdrum. I implied that it is a HUGE problem that is only getting bigger.
    3) YOU grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrow up "KID" :)

  • idahokid posted at 7:39 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    idahokid Posts: 45

    wow....not everyone in Rathdrum does meth, you are the reason for rumors and slander GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRow up.

  • Grrrrr posted at 6:44 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    Grrrrr Posts: 51

    Based on the articles,,,,,I would say: Rathdrum, in a remote section of the tracks, early morning and TWO vehicles......METH. Either a deal or getting high. What were they hiding from??
    Don't know if anyone else noticed. But this accident is within a mile of the most recent accident where the guy laid on the tracks. We never were told the outcome of the Tox results in that case. We do know the guy was drunk. But what else did he have in his system?
    In short..Rathdrum= Meth.

  • The Truth posted at 10:22 am on Wed, Aug 17, 2011.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    It's pretty obvious that alcohol was involved in some way.

  • MMMMMM posted at 10:14 pm on Tue, Aug 16, 2011.

    MMMMMM Posts: 2748

    Based only on what the CdA Press reported, this looks like a suicide.

  • hope4idaho posted at 12:19 pm on Tue, Aug 16, 2011.

    hope4idaho Posts: 29

    Darwin never sleeps!

  • Jullee posted at 11:08 am on Tue, Aug 16, 2011.

    Jullee Posts: 563

    I am also sorry for the train workers who try so hard to avoid any one or anything form becoming injured.
    Just can't imagine what they go through every time there is an incident.

  • ancientemplar posted at 7:42 am on Tue, Aug 16, 2011.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1268

    Didn't your mama tell you not to play on the train Tracks? Mine did.

  • northidahonative posted at 7:26 am on Tue, Aug 16, 2011.

    northidahonative Posts: 1164

    It's regrettable but BNSF may need to charge the drivers to avoid being sued by the families. Without the aid of County and State politicians BNSF would never have been able to build their fueling plant, Avista would not have been able to build their power plant on Boekel and Meyer, both of which I was against. IN this instance though BNSF would be justified in trying to protect the company from being sued for the stupidity of trespassers.

  • TakeBackTheUSA posted at 5:02 am on Tue, Aug 16, 2011.

    TakeBackTheUSA Posts: 765

    BNSF is such a humane and warm-fuzzy company that they'll probably sue this poor guy's family for trespass and damage to their engine. After all, they're the same bunch that sued the county over its efforts to ensure the safety of our water supply through regulation. But, hey - businesses in Idaho don't have to stand for that.

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