OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — Police on Thursday released the identity of a man they believe intentionally stepped into the path of an oncoming train more than a week ago.
Lt. Timothy DeLuca of the Old Orchard Beach Police Department said the man hit and killed by a Downeaster passenger train going through the town on March 11 was local man James King, 43.
DeLuca reiterated on Thursday what investigators said in the immediate aftermath of the incident, that police believe it was a case of suicide.
“We believe it was an unfortunate, intentional act,” he said.
DeLuca declined to comment on whether police found a suicide note.
Witnesses at the scene told Portland NBC television affiliate WCSH 6 that the man waited in a car parked near the railroad tracks for as long as 45 minutes before getting out and stepping in front of the oncoming train.
“It was the witness statements and based on the overall investigation,” DeLuca said of what led police to believe the act was intentional.
The Amtrak Downeaster, which connects Portland to Boston, previously hit a pedestrian in April 2012 in Biddeford. In that case, the victim, a local man, was reportedly walking illegally along the railroad tracks. The incident was believed to be accidental.
Last October, a freight train traveling through Portland hit and killed a 54-year-old transient man walking along the tracks, an incident that took place just two months after a southbound Downeaster struck a Massachusetts man trying to jump across the tracks in Scarborough.
In May 2013, a Portland man suffered a severed leg when he was run over by a freight train in the Riverton neighborhood. The man and a friend had attempted to jump aboard one of the railroad cars, and the man fell from the train, city officials said at the time.
To reach a suicide prevention hotline, call 888-568-1112 or 800-273-TALK (8255), or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.