NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Police have identified the man struck by a train Wednesday night, and they have concluded his death was a suicide.
North Berwick Police Chief Stephen Peasley said 43-year-old Paul Voisine of North Berwick was hit by an Amtrak Downeaster passenger train about 140 feet from the railroad’s intersection with Main Street in the town.
“It appears that it was an intentional act, which would be ruled a suicide,” the chief said Thursday morning. Peasley said Voisine left a message on Facebook, and after police spoke with witnesses, “it does seem clear that it was intentional.”
The police chief said the incident was reported at 7:12 p.m. Wednesday, and authorities remained in the area until about 10 p.m. He described Voisine as somebody who has “lived in town for several years now.”
Amtrak confirmed on Wednesday night that its No. 685 train was involved in an incident there, and that the following 687 and 688 trains also experienced delays as a result.
Voisine’s death represents the second time this year an individual has stepped in front of an oncoming Downeaster train in Maine in an apparent suicide attempt, and the third time in 2014 one of the Brunswick-to-Boston passenger trains has hit and killed a pedestrian in any kind of incident.
On March 11, police said 43-year-old James King of Old Orchard Beach apparently committed suicide in a train collision there.
On May 31, a Downeaster train hit and killed 39-year-old Nyla Howard in South Portland in a case investigators called accidental, where Howard was trespassing on the railroad tracks but not seeking to commit suicide.
In a fourth case a day earlier — which was not fatal — a Downeaster hit the hand and arm of a man fishing on the train trestle over Scarborough Marsh. In that case, the man suffered what police at the time called minor injuries.
Peasley said on Thursday morning that while the most recent case was apparently intentional, pedestrians should remember to stay off the railroad tracks.
“People still walk on the tracks, and with the trains traveling at the speeds they do, it’s really not a safe thing to be doing,” he said.