Pedestrian killed in Tempe light rail accident identified

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Light rail service suspended in collision with pedestrian

Light rail service on Apache east of McClintock in Tempe, Arizona was briefly suspended in both directions while police investigated a fatal collision between a pedestrian and a light rail train.

Onlookers flagged down an officer near the Apache substation to report that there appeared to be a body lying by the side of the light rail tracks. When the officers arrived they found a deceased man with injuries obviously caused by impact.

Upon further investigation authorities have determined the point of impact was at Sycamore and Main in Mesa and that the train was traveling westbound into Tempe. The light rail operator did not realize the incident had occurred. The body was recovered at the Smith and Martin stop, approximately a mile from where the collision occurred.

Westbound Apache was closed from Price to McClintock for the investigation.

Identification of pedestrian in light rail difficult due to extent of injuries

There was a large amount of evidence to gather on and around the light rail track. Officers report that when they first saw the body, they were unable to tell immediately if it was a man or woman due to the extent of the injuries.

It’s too early to determine whether this was a train accident or a suicide, and what may have exactly occurred, but police have identified the man involved was 28-year-old, Wade L. Stokley.

Tempe Police Lt. Scott Smith said they are looking for any witnesses that might be able to shed light on what happened. Mesa Police Det. Steve Berry said they will review the surveillance video taken at the scene, but that it will take some time to review those camera angles and that information.

One witness reported Stokley threw himself in front of the train and that he was “severed in half.”

Mesa Police and Valley Metro are assisting in the investigation.

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