BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) - Police continue searching for answers after a man was hit and killed by a Rail Runner train Saturday night.
Bernalillo Police say it was near the crossing at Lucero and Camino del Pueblo where 50-year-old Joseph Sandoval was hit and killed by a Rail Runner train heading north at around 7 p.m. Saturday.
The engineer told police she saw something in the tracks, but couldn't stop in time. Authorities caught up to the train in Santa Fe.
“State police found it and they determined there was some blood on the train,” Bernalillo Police Chief Julian Gonzales said.
Gonzales says Sandoval was in town visiting his brother and how he ended up near the tracks remains a mystery.
“It’s hard to really say,” Gonzales said. “They could've been arguing, he could've fallen, he could've fallen asleep, he could’ve been intoxicated and passed out there. We won’t know until a lot of those lab tests come back.”
Police say a part of the train near the wheel hit Sandoval in the back of his head and that's what caused his death.
“At first you couldn't really see anything, but the second time there was someone covered,” Gabriela Munoz said. “Whatever his situation was, it’s a sad story.”
It's a story Munoz has seen and heard before.
“That’s the sad part, it’s not the first time it’s happened,” Munoz said. “A 16-year-old boy was killed, too.”
Earlier this year, Bernalillo High freshman Jose Angel was hit and killed by an Amtrak train.
Police say he was on his way home from school and may have been wearing headphones and didn't hear the train coming. His cousins were standing next to his descanso Sunday.
As for Sandoval, police say they're waiting on an autopsy and tests to come back from the OMI to see if anything else may have factored into his death.
Some neighbors say that at least one person tried calling Bernalillo Police to say something was going on near the tracks before Sandoval was hit and killed. Chief Gonzales says they're looking into that.
Bernalillo Police say they're interviewing a few people, including Sandoval's brother who he was visiting. Foul play is not suspected.
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