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Medical examiner identifies man killed by train near downtown Spokane; death ruled an accident

December 28, 2018

The Spokane County medical examiner has identified a man who was hit and killed by a train Christmas evening in Spokane as 31-year-old Ryan E. Poyner.

Poyner, according to the medical examiner, died from blunt injuries to his head, chest, abdomen and extremities. The death was ruled accidental.

Emergency crews were called to the tracks near Third Avenue and Sunset Boulevard on the edge of downtown Spokane just before 7:30 p.m., where they found Poyner injured after being struck by a Union Pacific train. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

Police said Poyner, who was not named at the time, was not a BNSF railroad employee. Investigators are still unsure why he was on the tracks.

A witness, Megan Goldsmith, said she was driving past the Rosauers grocery store on Sunset Boulevard and glanced toward the railroad tracks a split-second before the collision.

Goldsmith said she could barely make out details in the dark, but she saw a silhouetted figure standing in front of the train before getting hit and disappearing from view.

“I remember hearing the brakes,” she said.

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