A passenger train struck and killed an elderly man who apparently was trying to rescue his dog Thursday on the railroad tracks just west of Reno.
The 74-year-old Reno man had been walking with his teenage granddaughter along the Truckee River when he and the dog went onto the tracks near Verdi at about 1:30 p.m., Washoe County sheriff's deputies said.
The man and dog were hit by the westbound Amtrak train where a trestle passes over the river behind the Boomtown hotel-casino on U.S. Interstate 80.
Sheriff's Lt. John Spencer said the train would have been visible about a mile away.
"I think it was a case of the train was seen by the individual and he was trying to get his dog off the tracks," he said.
The victim's name has not been released. His granddaughter was not hurt, but she apparently did witness the accident.
The Amtrak train was stopped for more than two hours while witnesses were questioned. Train traffic resumed about 4:30 p.m.
An investigation into the death is continuing.
"The one thing that we stress and the railroad stresses is that train tracks are private property. It is not a place to be," Spencer said.
"The train takes a long time to stop and they have no turning capabilty to avoid you if you are in their path," he said.