Friends Remember Train Accident Victim

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EUGENE, Ore. — A Eugene man riding his bike home from work home to his family died after being hit by an Amtrak train Thursday night.

Investigators say Aaron Daywitt, 49, tried to cross the tracks near 8th and Hilyard Street when the train came by.

Friends describe Daywitt as a family man and one who was deeply-rooted in his community. Those who knew him have been stopping by to drop off flowers on the tracks where he lost his life.

Daywitt was married with 4-year-old twin girls. He was a mortgage officer at Alpine Mortgage Planning for several years. His colleagues spent Friday morning sharing memories of Daywitt and grieving together. They say he was an experienced cyclist and started riding his bike to work five years ago.

“He’s like, ‘I just want to do loans, and I want to ride my bike to work, and I want to take my time getting up in the morning and spend time with the kids.’ It was really important to him to be healthy,” said friend and co-worker Todd Zimmerman.

Friends say safety was important to Daywitt while cycling and that this is just a very tragic accident. Police say Daywitt was wearing headphones when he crossed the tracks.

Daywitt was very involved in the community. He was a former offensive coordinator for the Willamette High School football team.

A fund has been set up to help Daywitt’s wife and twin girls.┬áIf you would like to donate, checks can be made out to Alpine Mortgage Community Cares and brought to their location at 1200 Executive Parkway Suite 100, Eugene, OR 97401.


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  1. Randall says:

    When someone goes around “Flashing Gates” there is no such thing as an Accident!

  2. Diana says:

    There is no flashing gates going over the train tracks

  3. Diana says:

    What I meant to say is that there is not “flashing gates” over the section of bike path that he was riding on, there are gates futher down the street where the tracks meet road but not where the bike path crosses. VERY SAD

    1. S says:

      According to witness statements, one of whom was John Lively (formerly Mayor of Springfield) there were flashing gates down, with lights and bells, and the train was blaring its horn. The bicyclist was on the sidewalk next to the tracks. But there was plenty of warning. How he didn’t hear or see all that, is a mystery. Either way it is a tragedy and very sad.

  4. S says:

    So tragic! Seems like a very nice man. My condolences to the family and friends. I hope if any good comes out of this that others learn to not be complacent on the road. Exercise caution, especially around train tracks and ALL intersections. So sad for all involved. Let’s try to prevent it in the future.

  5. Michael Bean says:

    This is very sad. But. Wearing headphones is just plain crazy. I can see the writing on the wall. Bicyclists will now want a bike bridge costing 10’s of thousands of dollars when all really needs to happen is PAY ATTENTION.

  6. E says:

    I think judgement on the cyclists actions with such little information is irresponsible and insensitive. Aaron was a very safety minded cyclist with years of experience and I can only imagine that he made a decision that he felt was safe. He was an exceptional person and someone I felt lucky to know. We would be so fortunate to have more Aaron’s in this world.

  7. Wid Jensen says:

    If you don’t have ALL the information/ answers, respectfully keep you judgments or theorys to yourself.

  8. A says:

    Personally, I agree with E and Wid. If you don’t have all the information, please do not talk low about someone poorly that you did not know. For those of us who knew Aaron and loved him, he would not have gone across those tracks on purpose if he had any inkling this may have happened. Had he thought his life was in danger, he would have waited. It was not irresponsible or purposeful, that I’m confident of. He was a very safe and very smart individual, and to say that it wasn’t an accident and it was irresponsible….it just goes to prove you didn’t know him. Those who knew him were lucky to have known him.

  9. A says:

    This is very sad. I think it’s terrible when there is a tragedy and people post negative things about that person. Whatever happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” My prayers go out to this man’s family.

  10. L says:

    I totally agree with E, Wld, and A, for I, too, am one of the lucky ones who knew Aaron. Love, comfort, and prayers to him ‘on the other side’ and to his wonderful wife, precious girls, and extended family here.

  11. Christie says:

    This is a truly sad and tragic story. Obviously this is a smart man, who rode frequently and though some couch potato Michael Bean made some ignorant and insensitive comment, this cyclist’s life was lost because there are inadequate measures at bike crossing. And IF the headphones were an issue….well, that just proves that a hearing impaired person is equally at risk. Flashing LED warning lights should be at heavy pedestrian areas and by the trains. I wish his family peace and hopefully the City will consider obvious measures that can be part of the train safety system. God Bless this family.

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