Fitness Model Greg Plitt Killed by Train; Was He Trespassing?

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on January 20, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Fitness model and reality TV star Greg Plitt may have been trespassing on the train tracks where he was struck and killed by a train Saturday afternoon near Los Angeles, authorities say.

Plitt, 37, was struck by a Metrolink commuter train about 4 p.m., reports the Los Angeles Times. According to crew members who were at the scene, Plitt may have been attempting to film a "Superman"-themed segment when he was struck just north of the Burbank Metrolink Station.

Metrolink officials said that Plitt and his crew had not obtained the permits required to film on the railroad's right-of-way.

What Is Trespassing?

Making entry onto another's land without the consent of the landowner is generally considered trespassing. Trespassing can lead to both criminal and civil penalties. Trespassing may also affect the legal rights of a person who suffers injury or death on another's person's property.

Under certain circumstances, a landowner may be legally liable for injuries sustained by trespassers on land. If the trespasser is injured by an artificial unsafe condition on the land created or maintained by the landowner, the landowner may be liable if he or she failed to exercise reasonable care in warning trespassers against the risk presented by the artificial condition when that condition is one that the owner had reason to believe trespassers would not discover.

Train Reportedly Sounded Horn, Applied Brakes

But that likely won't apply in Plitt's case. A Metrolink spokesman said that Plitt and his film crew were operating without having filed the form required by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority to encroach on the rail system's right-of-way. "We have a whole process for people to go through if they want to be on our right-of-way, especially for film crews," spokesman Jeff Lustgarten told the Los Angeles Times.

According to Metrolink, the train's engineer saw Plitt on the tracks and sounded his horn while applying the train's emergency brakes. Plitt reportedly did not react to the train's horn, possibly because of the nature of the video footage and photographs being taken of him at the scene. Plitt reportedly tripped as he attempted to get out of the train's way and was struck.

Plitt had reportedly used the same stretch of railroad tracks in previous fitness videos. Plitt's girlfriend told the Times he "wanted to push things to the limit"; at the time of the accident, he was just "trying to get the best shot," she said.

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