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Body of 58-year-old man found on Metro Rail tracks

Mike Desmond
Police on scene of the Utica Metro Rail Station in Buffalo.

An unidentified man was killed Wednesday afternoon in the Metro Rail tunnel between the Summer-Best Station and Utica Station.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police say the 58-year-old man entered the Summer-Best Station around 1:20 p.m. He was spotted as a body in the tunnel around 2:40 p.m. and reported to transit police.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

"The department was notified that a body had been located in the tunnel on the outbound track between Summer-Best Station and Utica Station," said Transit Police Chief George Gast. "Officers from the department responded and we found an individual who was obviously deceased."

There are no surveillance cameras in the tunnel. The chief said there is an active investigation as to what happened, as this is not the first person to die in the Metro Rail tunnel.

"We had another incident about two years ago, similar incident, where an individual entered the track bed and was struck by a train," Gast said, "and then we had an individual about 18 months ago that was cutting between two cars on the surface portion of the system, fell between the cars and was dragged into the tunnel."

Gast said there will be an autopsy by the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office, while detectives conduct interviews that will include train drivers.

"This investigation has been turned over to our Accident Investigation Unit and they are doing a thorough and complete investigation with the assistance of our Detective Bureau," he said.

Initially, train service was shut down completely and later trains alternated inbound and outbound on the regular inbound track until early evening, when transit service was fully restored.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.