Train strikes, kills 72-year-old woman

Posted: Monday, November 02, 2009

ANCHORAGE - The 72-year-old woman struck and killed by a coal train near the Rabbit Creek rifle range has been identified.

Authorities said Joyce Kusmider of Cordova died Saturday.

Alaska Railroad spokeswoman Wendy Lindskoog said the train was returning from a coal run to Seward when employees saw a woman standing on the tracks. The crew sounded the horn, but the woman didn't respond.

Police say the train engineer activated the emergency braking system. But the train was traveling at 45 mph and came to a stop after hitting Kusmider.

The crew reported seeing a flash of light before hitting the woman, and investigators found a camera with Kusmider's body.

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