BURBANK (CBS/AP) — A fitness model and actor who previously shot workout videos on railroad tracks was struck and killed by a train during filming near Los Angeles.
Two men were videotaping George Plitt Jr., 37, on the tracks north of the Burbank train station when Plitt was hit by a Metrolink passenger train, according to Burbank police Sgt. Scott Meadows.
Investigators have ruled out a suicide, and were trying to determine who directed the men to film in a restricted area of the tracks Saturday afternoon. They have interviewed witnesses who saw Plitt standing on the track even as the train’s horn was blaring, Meadows said.
Plitt also went by the name Greg and was a well-known fitness model. The actor and West Point graduate has appeared on more than 200 magazine covers, Bravo’s reality television shows “Work Out” and “Friends to Lovers” and NBC’s daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” according to a website in Plitt’s name.
A motivational video on the website shows Plitt working out on the tracks as a Metrolink train passes by.
Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson said Monday that the Los Angeles-region commuter train system tries to warn people when it sees they have posted images or videos of themselves on its tracks, but he didn’t know whether Plitt had been contacted in the past.
Walking on tracks is trespassing, Johnson said.
“The tracks are for one thing — trains,” he said.
“It could have completely been avoided,” Johnson added in an interview with CBS2/KCAL9. “We cannot secure every inch of our track. we need people to understand, when they see tracks, they have to think a train is imminent.”
Officials say roughly 75 trains use that stretch of tracks each day.
It appears Plitt may have believed the train was on a nearby, parallel track, Meadows said.
“It’s like a blind turn,” he said. “When the train came, you might not be able to tell which set the train is on.”
It was not immediately clear what the men were filming.
Plitt’s girlfriend did not want to speak on camera but told CBS2/KCAL9 he was trying to get the best shot with a two-man film-crew when he was killed.
Police had no further updates on their investigation Monday.
Loved ones were meanwhile paying their respects at a memorial, complete with dumbbells and wristbands, at the train site.
Plitt was born in Baltimore. He served five years in the Army after graduating from West Point, the website said.
Metrolink officials say roughly 30 people a year are hit and killed by trains in Southern California, and the vast majority of those deaths are preventable.
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