A family in Charlotte, North Carolina, is coping with three tragedies after two brothers were fatally struck by a light rail train while holding a memorial for another sibling who had died in the same spot one week before.
Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department responded to a call about two pedestrians being struck by LYNX Blue Line train near South Boulevard and Hebron Street, according to the Associated Press.
Police arrived to find Pablo Tiquiram Us, 29, and Jose Chilambalam Tiquiram Us, 20, unresponsive near the tracks. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
In a press briefing, CMPD Sgt. Adam Jones said that the men were “mourning the loss” of their other brother — 27-year-old Baltazar Tiquiram Us — when they were struck.
Baltazar was killed by another light rail train on July 26.
“They had been memorializing their brother on the one-week anniversary of his death and they were conducting a memorial out by the site where he was killed,” Jones said.
Calling it a “tragic incident,” Jones said the men were standing on the track and lighting candles when the train approached the intersection.
“Unfortunately, the two brothers were also struck by a train while they were on foot and they both succumbed to their injuries pretty quickly,” Jones said. “I cannot imagine losing three of your children — three of your siblings — within a week to such tragic circumstances.”
According to Jones, “impairment was involved” in the fatal incident involving the two brothers.
Investigators believe that the track’s safety mechanisms, including the crossing arms and flashing lights that warn of an approaching train, were working properly at the time of the crash, Jones said.
Baltazar was struck by a light rail train after driving his Toyota Tundra around the track’s crossing arm, The Charlotte Observer reported.
While Baltazar was pronounced dead at the scene, an unnamed passenger was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, the outlet said.
Police believe impairment was involved in that incident as well, according to local news station FOX 48.
“I’d like to stress to our citizens: Please, if you have been drinking, use a ride-share, have a designated driver, or stay where you are,” Jones said during Wednesday’s press briefing. “If you have been drinking, please do not drive.”