Sunday, November 28, 2004


An off-duty Bethlehem City police officer was struck and killed by an R5 train at Melrose Park station on Wednesday night, according to the Easton Express-Times. P/O Tracy Szoke was pronounced dead at Einstein Medical Center after being struck by the #596 (10:55pm Lansdale local). Even though reports say that the #596 was not scheduled to stop at Melrose Park, the timetable does list Melrose Park as a flag stop...

In any case, the Inquirer ran a story in Saturday's editions:

According to Cheltenham police, "the victim was in a place she shouldn't have been," SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said yesterday. "It's a terrible tragedy."

He said police reported that Szoke and a male companion got off at the station after realizing they were on the wrong train. Szoke crossed the tracks and jumped the fence to see whether the station was open so she could get information, he said.

While making her way back, Szoke was struck by a northbound R5 train that was not scheduled to stop at Melrose Park and was traveling about 50 m.p.h., Maloney said.

"It takes a long time to stop," he said. "The engineer is powerless in a situation like that."

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