Someone threw a 4 foot length of 2x4 at a freight train moving around 40 miles an hour at close range. Another gentleman and myself were watching the train and conversing about 30 feet down the track and were nearly struck by the 2x4 as it ricocheted and broke apart off the fast moving freight cars. After I bawled the guy out that threw the board, his reply was, "I threw it safely!"
I have seen so-called professional photographers climb up on signal gantries to get pictures of passing trains, stand in the middle of a busy ROW to get that special shot, and cross without looking while a mile-plus long coal train is barreling along.
I've also seen plain stupid, Darwin Award winning moves by common folk as they blow around crossing gates with a train within a few hundred yards and the engineer blowing his horn loudly, people doing the same on foot, and worse... Going down into the "pit" in a subway station, cross the electrified tracks, and climb up the opposite platform. In that case there was a security guard waiting for the idiot when he got up on the other side.
People do dumb things because they think trains are moving a lot slower than they are mostly because they're big and they can't always hear them. A quite a number of years ago, some kids were killed as they walked down the tracks, at night, while wearing dark clothing and plugged into headphones. I feel bad for the engineer because he had no warning that anyone was there until he rounded the bend in the dark.
Yep. Train engineers always get the worst of it. Keep the train crews, their families, the victims and families in your prayers (if your religious. If not, I'm fine with that).
I sure do keep the crew in my thoughts. They and their families will face litigation, harassment, and psychological issues for the rest of their lives because of someone else's stupidity.
At one point I applied for a conductor's job, which was canceled and I didn't get it, but in the in-person interview I told this to who would have been my supervisor. He, I think was quite impressed, and had me come back for the second interview. This was quite a number of years ago, just before the Great Recession, and shortly after the interviewing process I got a letter that informed me that they were no longer offering that positions, blah, blah, blah, and they would keep my interview and resume on file for a year.