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Austerlitz man hit by Amtrak train in Stockport

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    An unidentified person was struck by a passing Amtrak train in Stockport on Tuesday. Amanda Purcell/Columbia-Greene Media
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    Stockport firefighters blocked off Station Road in Stockport after a pedestrian-train accident on Tuesday. Amanda Purcell/Columbia-Greene Media
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    State police responded to a pedestrian-Amtrak train accident near Station Road in Stockport on Tuesday.
March 26, 2019 12:14 pm Updated: March 27, 2019 10:55 am


STOCKPORT — An Austerlitz man was killed after being struck by an Amtrak train carrying more than 100 passengers and crew traveling north near Station Road on Tuesday, police said.

David C. Soka, 51, died by suicide, according to a preliminary investigation by New York State Police.

Amtrak Adirondack No. 69 was on its way from New York City to Montreal when it struck a person trespassing on the tracks in Stockport at around 10:30 a.m., according to a statement from Amtrak, which is also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

State police and Amtrak officials are investigating the incident. Stockport firefighters closed Station Road to traffic near Southers Road in the hamlet of Columbiaville for several hours Tuesday. The dead-end road leads to the Stockport trestle.

Investigators could be seen examining a blue car parked near the shore of Stockport Creek.

“A deceased male was located near the Stockport trestle on the Amtrak Empire Service line,” according to a statement released by state police Tuesday.

The circumstances surrounding the man’s death were under investigation as of late Tuesday afternoon, state police said.

State police are withholding the man’s identity pending notification of family members.

“There were no injuries to the 125 passengers or crew members on board the train,” according to a statement from the high-speed passenger rail company. “Amtrak police are cooperating with New York State Police to investigate the incident.”

Train No. 69 resumed its trip at around 1 p.m., but was three hours late, according to Amtrak.

Several other trains, Nos. 290, 238, 281, were also delayed due to the incident, according to Amtrak.

“This is an opportunity to remind the public about the importance of exercising caution around railroad tracks and crossings,” Amtrak said in a statement Tuesday. “Amtrak continues to work closely with Operation Lifesaver (OLI) to communicate the dangers of grade crossings. Each year, about 2,000 people are killed or injured in grade crossing and trespassing incidents nationwide.”

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and firefighters from Stockport and Stottville assisted at the scene.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.