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Man dies after TRAX train hits his car at 2950 South

Published February 6, 2013 1:51 pm

Fatal Crash • Barrier arms were down 22 seconds before collision.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

South Salt Lake • A Salt Lake City man died at a hospital several hours after his car was struck by a TRAX light rail train late Wednesday morning.

South Salt Lake police spokesman Gary Keller identified the victim as 57-year-old Larry R. Aullman.

Keller said the 10:22 a.m. crash occurred well after the crossing barrier arms, bells and lights had activated at the crossing at 2950 S. 200 West. It appeared Aullman had either driven around the barrier arms or had driven under them as they began to lower.

The northbound train was traveling 45-50 mph when it hit the westbound car, pushing it 120 feet before coming to a stop.

Utah Transit Authority spokesman Gerry Carpenter said 50 to 60 passengers were on the train at the time of the accident. No injuries were reported to UTA or crew members.

The accident closed TRAX travel through the crossing. By early afternoon, TRAX travel in both directions had resumed.

Keller said investigators had determined the crossing arms had been down for 22 seconds before the collision, and witnesses had reported that all facets of the system — the arms, the bells and flashing lights — had operated as designed.

Jeremy Hatt saw the car "fly down" 2950 South from his vantage point at the store where he works, about half a block east of the crossing. He estimated the car was traveling about 40 mph. Moments later, he heard the impact.

"Everyone screams down [this road]," Hatt said.

South Salt Lake firefighters had to use the "Jaws of Life" gear to extricate the victim from the wreckage. He was then taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was pronounced dead Wednesday afternoon.

Carpenter said this was the first TRAX fatality of 2013. Last year, five people were killed by TRAX trains, but three were suicides, Carpenter said.

remims@sltrib.com

mmcfall@sltrib.com