Oregon wedding photographer’s family ‘gutted’ by fatal fall
TARGO, N.Y. — A photographer who was fatally struck by a train at the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean has been identified as Paul T. Smith, 59, who had been working at the North Carolina station in Trenton, N,N.C., for nearly a decade.
Smith’s father, George Smith, said his family is “shocked and gutted” by the death of their son.
The accident occurred Friday afternoon when Smith was struck by the train, according to Amtrak, which has been providing updates.
Smith had been with Amtrak for seven years, the train operator said.
Trenton’s fire department spokesman, Kevin Miller, said the train’s brakes failed as Smith jumped off the tracks and struck a rail.
“The train driver was able to get the train off the track and stop it, but unfortunately there was a collision between the train and the track,” Miller said.
“There were no injuries.
The train was a total loss and a total tragedy.
I don’t know what he was doing.
He was just trying to make the train go faster.”
The railroad’s spokeswoman, Liz Liss, said Smith was a frequent commuter.
He has been on the job for nearly two years and was an Amtrak customer since 2015, she said.
The spokesman added that Smith was “one of the most talented and experienced railroad photographers I have ever worked with.”
Smith was the first American killed by a freight train on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak said.
It is the second train fatality in New Jersey in less than a week.
On Saturday, an Amtrak train carrying passengers from Philadelphia to New York ran a red light, striking a woman, injuring two people and killing her, the New York Police Department said.
A third person was hospitalized and treated for minor injuries.
In June, a train struck a woman in Pennsylvania.
The woman was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released.
The man was struck and killed by the same train, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said.