UPDATED: Victims of train accident in Wareham identified

WAREHAM – Two people were reportedly struck by a train around 7:30 PM Saturday evening in Wareham. The incident happened along the tracks off Minot Avenue. The Plymouth County D.A.s office confirmed both victims died from their injuries. The train operated by the Cape Cod Central Railroad was reportedly was a “polar express” scenic ride. There were children among those onboard but no injuries were reported on the train. Bourne rescuers responded to assist Wareham at the scene.

Statement from Wareham Police: On Saturday, November 17, at about 7:30 p.m., Wareham Police, along with multiple emergency agencies responded to the railroad tracks near Minot Avenue for the report of two pedestrians struck by a train. At the scene officers discovered the two individuals had died as a result of the accident. The chartered train had over 300 people on board and there was concern that they would have to be shuttled from the area. As a result the school department was contacted and responded to the scene with multiple buses. Ultimately, the train was able to be taken back to its starting point and the buses were not needed. The incident does not appear suspicious and is under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police assigned to District Attorney Timothy Cruz’s office, Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Police, and the Wareham Police Department.

Statement from Cape Cod Central Railroad: Tonight, during our final dress rehearsal for our holiday themed event, “The Train to Christmas Town”, unfortunately two trespassers were struck while we were traveling on our tracks,” the statement reads. “We had invited over 300 first responders and their families aboard our final dress rehearsal of the season. This is our way of giving back to those who give so much to our local communities . On our way to the north pole this evening, we came upon trespassers who were on our tracks. Sadly, tragedies such as this could be avoided if people would not trespass on train tracks. No passengers were injured in this incident and the staff did their best to distract the children from the sad reality which was occurring outside.

Statement from Cape Rail: Cape Rail regrets to inform the public that on Saturday Night there was a fatal Trespasser Strike in Wareham. On the dress rehearsal night Cape Rail’s subsidiary, Cape Cod Central Railroad was operating a holiday-themed train that was coincidentally filled with area first-responders and their families. Of the 355 Passengers on board, approximately 200 were children.

The tragedy occurred in an isolated stretch of track behind the Minot Ave. As the train was traveling north from Buzzards Bay, the man and woman were struck at 7:26PM.

The incident is under investigation by the Mass State PD, Wareham PD and the MBTA Transit Police.

Our hearts go out to the families.

Statement from Plymouth County D.A.s office: The victims of the accident have been identified as 33-year-old Melissa Gaudette and 36-year-old Edwin Benitez-Figueroa both from Wareham.

The engineer of the train is not facing charges and is not being identified. The investigation is ongoing by State Police Detectives assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, Wareham Police and the MBTA.

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