HICKORY CREEK, Texas — An Army recruiter was killed and his wife was critically injured when a commuter train struck them as they walked on a railroad trestle over Lewisville Lake Saturday evening.
Authorities said 32-year-old Sgt. Bryan Joseph Geuea and Ashley McCraw Geuea, 22, had been in the area on an outing with other family members when they left on foot and ended up on the bridge.
Tom Reedy, a spokesperson for the Denton County Sheriff, said the Hickory Creek couple heard the northbound A-train's horn as they walked on the tracks and tried to outrun it to the other side of the trestle.
Reedy said the impact threw the two off the bridge and into the knee-deep water 20 feet below.
Denton County Transit Authority spokeswoman Dee Leggett said the operator of the train saw the couple and applied the brakes, but wasn't able to stop in time.
Onlookers and passing drivers on nearby Interstate 35 witnessed the accident and rushed into the water to pull the couple from the water.
"People were getting out of their cars and were looking over the bridge," said Shari Esquenazi, 20, who drove by moments after the accident.
The northbound lanes of adjacent Interstate 35E were shut down so medical helicopters could take the victims for treatment.
Ashley Geuea went to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where she was reported in serious condition Sunday morning.
Sgt. Bryan Geuea, a recruiter from the Army's Denton office and a veteran of mutiple tours in Iraq, was pronounced dead at Medical Center of Plano shortly after being taken there.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and their families. This unfortunate incident reinforces the importance of community education about rail safety," Leggett said in a written statement.
The DCTA spokeswoman said there were seven passengers and two crew members on the train, and no one was injured. Service was interrupted for about an hour by the incident.
The single-track wooden trestle that runs parallel with the I-35E bridge is used by the A-train service linking Denton with Carrollton.
The railroad bridge has no pathway for pedestrians, and is located just north of the A-train's Highland Village/Lewisville Lake Station. The DCTA has signs posted warning pedestrians to stay away from the tracks.
This is the seventh accident for the train system since it began operating last June, and the second fatal accident for the line.
Dustin O’Dell, 23, of Garland, was struck and killed by the A-train last November. O'Dell was a campus disc jockey at the University of North Texas and rode the train to campus nearly every day.
He was walking along the tracks in Carrollton south of Hebron Station when the train hit him from behind. His father, Brice O'Dell, never understood why his son decided to walk along the tracks that day.
"All we could think is he somehow missed that train and knew if he got down to the next station he could catch a bus from there," O'Dell told News 8 last year.