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Earbuds, freight train a fatal mix for pedestrian, police say

Authorities in Maryland say a 37-year-old man walked down railway tracks while shutting out the world and was hit by a train, despite the conductor's warning signal.

CBS Baltimore screenshot by CNET

Electronics give people the opportunity to live in a world of their own.

Sometimes, though, this may not end well.

A train struck a man who was walking on the railway tracks in Joppa, Md., Thursday.

Police say the freight train approached him from behind. Its conductor said he sounded the horn.

That seems to have had no effect on 37-year-old Kevin Scott Street. For, police say, he was wearing earbuds.

According to CBS Baltimore, Street was struck by the 20-car freight train just after noon.

Edward Hopkins, a spokesman for the Hartford County Sheriff's Office explained to The Baltimore Sun: "Street did turn at the last minute, but not in enough time to move out of the way and was subsequently struck."

Perhaps it's easy after the event to remind people that listening to music or podcasts on cell phones might not be the wisest thing to do -- especially while walking down railway tracks.

Yet, the habit has become so ingrained that it seems some people can forget where they are or what might transpire.

It's not clear what Street might have been listening to, but it's best to remember that there is surely a volume level that does entirely shut out your surroundings more or less entirely.

At that point, you're there, but you're not there.