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Elderly cyclist killed after being hit by train

PPA vehicles on the scene after Monday's rail crossing fatality in the town of Rakke.
PPA vehicles on the scene after Monday's rail crossing fatality in the town of Rakke. Source: Anne Raiste / ERR

An elderly man died after being hit by a train in Väike-Maarja municipality in Lääne-Viru County, one of two train fatalities which happened on Monday.

According to preliminary data received, at just before 1.15 p.m. on Monday an 89-year-old man was crossing a rail crossing while cycling, against the warning light and barrier which indicated that pedestrians not cross, when he was hit, in the town of Rakke, about 45 km south of Rakvere and around 100 km from Tallinn.

The man died at the scene.

Tauno Lempu, head of Rakvere's Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) patrol service, said the case was an unfortunate one which could have been avoided.

"Equipping level crossings with traffic lights and a barrier makes it much safer for road users to cross rail tracks Be very careful not to ignore a traffic light or try to slip through at the last minute before the barrier falls. The minutes you are trying to save will not be worth the risk," said Lempu. 

"Cyclists should certainly dismount their bike when crossing the rail lines, in order to cross safely."

Proceedings have been instituted to establish all the circumstances of this case. Train traffic on the route was back to normal by 5 p.m. Monday.

The accident was one of two fatalities to happen on rail lines in Estonia on Monday. A man was killed shortly before 5.40 p.m. in the village of Kulli, near Tallinn, after stepping on the rail line.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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