Witness: Pedestrian hit by MAX ‘worst thing in world’

Chance Hoyt, 21, of Portland died when she was hit by the train

A pedestrian was killed hit by a MAX train at this crossing in Beaverton, June 5, 2017 (KOIN)
A pedestrian was killed hit by a MAX train at this crossing in Beaverton, June 5, 2017 (KOIN)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — A 21-year-old woman was hit and killed by a westbound MAX train at a marked crossing in Beaverton where trains travel in both directions

A pedestrian was killed hit by a MAX train at this crossing in Beaverton, June 5, 2017 (KOIN)
A pedestrian was killed hit by a MAX train at this crossing in Beaverton, June 5, 2017 (KOIN)

The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. along Baseline at 175th. TriMet said the gates, flashing lights and the dinging sound were all working at the time.This spot, though, has trains traveling in both directions, and TriMet said there were 2 trains in the area at the time.

There is also a gate specifically for pedestrians at this crossing, which makes a person crossing stop before going across.

“I don’t have any idea when the operator was able to see the individual,” TriMet’s Roberta Altstadt told KOIN 6 News. “It is a marked crossing but, again, when you have trains traveling in both directions people definitely need to be careful and look both ways and make sure they’re making that eye contact with both trains.”

“There is concern in the light rail industry that people may get focused on one train and not look to the other direction,” she said. While it’s unclear if that was the issue in this case, “there were 2 trains in the area where this occurred.”

Early investigation results

The young woman was identified Tuesday as Chance Hoyt of Portland. Beaverton police said it appears Hoyt waited for the eastbound train to pass then ran across the track without looking. She was then hit and killed by the westbound train.

‘Worst thing in the world’

Jshon Bryant saw the crash while he was headed to work on his skateboard.

“I stopped right there and we were waiting, all the cars are lined up. This girl is standing right here by the gates,” Bryant told KOIN 6 News. “The first MAX goes by and as she opened the gates she ran out and then the second one came by. She tried to jump back and it hit her and she swung out into the middle of the street.”

Bryant said everyone froze for an instant. Then, “all the civilians were hopping out of their cars. CPR certified helping this lady, trying to bring her back.”

“It was the worst thing in the world,” he said. “I didn’t even want to go to work. I had to stop. It was a shocker.”

He said just having the gates is not enough and wants TriMet to automatically lock the gates when the train is coming.

“This is their problem. They should lock these gates. (The train) just flies by you on the sidewalks with no gate lock, no nothing.”

Neighbors aware of the dangers at crossing

Neighbors who spoke with KOIN 6 News are aware of the dangers at this crossing. Anthony Farness said he’s crossed often at the gated crosswalk.

“I always pay attention and make sure I’m looking up, because I’ve been across when the MAX is coming but the lights are still down because the other one is going to come in, like, 30 seconds,” Farness said.

A pedestrian was killed by a MAX train in Beaverton, June 5, 2017 (KOIN)
A pedestrian was killed by a MAX train in Beaverton, June 5, 2017 (KOIN)

He said it could be deceiving, but the lights and crossing gates “stay down until both of them cross.”

Stephanie Haselton said there are kids in the neighborhood who need to be reminded to look both ways.

“I know I do it with my son because it terrifies me,” she said. “I really, really try and remind my kids, ‘Hey, look both ways,’ and I think when a train’s coming, even if you’re just crossing the tracks, you should always look both ways.”

A pedestrian was killed by a MAX train in Beaverton, June 5, 2017 (KOIN)
A pedestrian was killed by a MAX train in Beaverton, June 5, 2017 (KOIN)

She added everyone in this neighborhood is affected.

“That’s somebody’s family member that they lost,” Haselton said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

The pedestrian’s name has not been released.

“We’re helping police any way we can in the investigation, providing any video that we may have or any information from the train itself,” Altstadt said.

She added all of the safety precautions were in place, “but again a full investigation needs to be conducted.”