Bicyclist dies in collision with Amtrak train at Bellingham’s F Street crossing

A male bicyclist was killed Tuesday morning after colliding with an Amtrak Cascades passenger train on F Street between Roeder Avenue and Holly Street, according to Bellingham Police Lt. Claudia Murphy.

Minutes before 8:30 a.m., Bellingham Fire and Police responded to F Street for the report of a train and bicyclist collision.

Amtrak Cascades passenger train 517 was coming from Vancouver, B.C., and was due to cross the intersection on its way to Portland, according to Murphy and Olivia Irvin, public relations manager with Amtrak. The electronic arms had come down alerting the train’s arrival.

Due to active construction happening near the waterfront on the westbound side of Roeder, flaggers were out to help direct pedestrians and traffic on both sides of the street. The bicyclist, who was coming from Roeder, ignored both the flaggers and the electronic arms, continued up and onto the tracks and was hit by the oncoming train, Murphy said.

The man died at the scene, Murphy said. His age and identity have not been released yet, pending notification of his family.

The roads were opened shortly before noon and the train had continued heading south after the investigation was completed, Murphy said. F Street had been closed for several hours after the incident, and traffic was being detoured, Murphy said.

There were no injuries to the 92 passengers on board or crew members, Irvin said.

The train that hit the bicyclist was delayed three hours and 15 minutes, Irvin said, which has contributed to a delay of the following Amtrak Cascades train 516. The Amtrak Police Department is working with local law enforcement to investigate the incident, Irvin said.

Train traffic both north and south of the scene was holding while police and the BNSF Railway Company investigated the incident, BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas said. The collision occurred on BNSF’s main rail line.

This is the fifth fatal train collision on BNSF tracks in Washington state this year, Melonas said.

“We would like to encourage the public to recognize trains move on any track at any time in any direction,” Melonas said.

Support Officer Community Crisis Care Executive Director Kendra Cristelli said support officers were on scene to assist. If you need help or more information following a tragedy or trauma, go to supportofficer.org.

The last fatal collision with a train in Bellingham occurred Dec. 10, when a 55-year-old woman died. Her death was ruled a suicide.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.