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Police: Woman killed in train accident had Alzheimer’s

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train struck and killed a pedestrian in south Wichita early Tuesday morning, authorities said. (Jan. 28, 2014)
A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train struck and killed a pedestrian in south Wichita early Tuesday morning, authorities said. (Jan. 28, 2014) The Wichita Eagle

Wichita police say a woman who was struck and killed by a train in southeast Wichita early Tuesday morning suffered from the early stages of Alzheimer’s and likely didn’t realize where she was at the time.

The woman, identified as 53-year-old Vikki Battle, was struck at about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train as she was walking on the track at Harry and Southeast Boulevard, Lt. Joe Schroeder said.

“The train crew did everything they could to stop,” Schroeder said, calling the incident “a tragic accident.”

Initial police reports that the woman was suicidal were not accurate, Schroeder said. Family members told investigators she was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Battle did not live near where she was struck, he said, and it’s not clear why she was at that location.

“She may have been suffering from some dementia issues and was unaware of where she was,” Schroeder said.

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