SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Two families are grieving the loss of loved ones who were hit and killed by a UTA train.
Within the last 2.5 weeks, 14-year-old Patrick Lawrence died, and over the weekend, 20-year-old Eryx Lynch died. Lawrence passed on April 18 and Lynch on May 7.
The stories of both families are heartbreaking after they lost loved ones hit by UTA trains.
Carl Arky with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) said these accidents are 100% avoidable.
Brian Lynch, Eryx Lynch’s uncle, says Eryx was one of three siblings and had been working at Domino’s Pizza for only a week when he died.
He was delivering a pizza when he crossed under the stop arms and got hit by a UTA Train.
“If the lights are on and the bells are sounding and the gate is down, those things are there for your protection,” said Arky.
The protection wasn’t enough to stop Eryx from going under the stop arm on his e-bike to try to cross the tracks.
“It’s tragic,” said Brian Lynch. “It’s just really difficult.”
Brian told us Eryx waited for a northbound train to pass before crossing. But when he began to cross, he was hit and killed by a train traveling in the opposite direction.
“Eryx was such an amazing young man,” said Brian. “He was very introverted and shy and for those of us that had the pleasure of knowing him and getting to see his true self he was such a beautiful person.”
Brian said Eryx took pride in his job delivering pizzas.
We asked Arky if there was anything more UTA can do to promote safety.
“I think just getting the message out and we appreciate the opportunity to do this,” said Arky. “It is unawareness and it’s a program. We do go to schools and we send people into schools quite often to talk to younger people about being safe around mass transit.”
Arky added all safety equipment was working and functioning properly at the time, but in the big picture, that doesn’t matter because Eryx’s life was lost and so was a 14-year-old’s, two and half weeks prior.
“One is too much,” said Arky. “Our sympathy goes out to every one of the families and every one of the victims in these cases.”
Brian said Eryx loved video games and took the pizza delivery job to pay for college eventually. He added that he loved being his mentor.
“He was so selfless,” said Brian. “He was the most selfless person I have ever met in my life. He didn’t have an easy life and he didn’t let that bitter his spirit. He was a sweet selfless person and human being who left a very positive impression on me and everyone that knew him.”
Eryx was living with his mom at the time to help him save money. He has one older brother, Everett, 25, and one older sister, Elaine, 23.
Arky said everyone should be on high alert when they’re at a UTA train station. “When you get to a traffic light when you are driving, you stop,” said Arky. “If you are walking on a street and it says don’t cross, you don’t cross and the same is true at a crossing for railroads.”
Click here for a link to Lawrence’s obituary.