As Burbank police analyze surveillance footage recorded from the Metrolink train that struck and killed Bravo “Work Out” star Gregory Plitt Jr., a spokesman for the rail company is speaking out about the accident that claimed the actor’s life.
“While our hearts go out to his [Plitt’s] family, this was very, very preventable,” Metrolink spokesman Jeff Lustgarten told TheWrap Tuesday.
“Had the proper channels been followed, this would not have happened,” Lustgarten said as he explained that Plitt was not authorized to be on the train tracks.
The actor, 37, was killed Saturday near the Burbank Metrolink Station on Front Street as he purportedly shot a fitness video. Some reports have indicated he was filming a commercial for an energy drink.
Police have previously said the former Army Ranger and Calvin Klein model was accompanied by two other individuals, one of whom was filming the fitness guru. As part of their investigation, the Burbank Police Department is analyzing surveillance footage handed over by Metrolink.
Plitt “was running on the tracks and did not respond to a horn blast,” officer Joshua Kendrick told TheWrap Tuesday. “We’re unable to determine if he fell because of the angle of the video.”
Warren Coulter, a friend of Plitt’s, told the Los Angeles Times, “He just made a mistake.” Coulter said he talked to the crew members who were at the scene, and they told him Plitt was attempting to get action shots, possibly playing off of the old Superman expression that the superhero is “more powerful than a locomotive.”
While the investigation into his death continues, Plitt’s family is planning a public memorial. The service will be held at The Church of The Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills on Saturday at 2 p.m. Another service is scheduled for next week in his hometown of Baltimore.
“We are devastated over the loss of our son,” Plitt’s family posted on his website. “Your messages have uplifted us and give us strength. We thank you for that. Greg’s soul is now with our heavenly Father. May his spirit live on through his website and through each of you.”
Plitt recently shot several episodes for a new Bravo series called “Friends to Lovers,” and is scheduled to make his first appearance on an episode that will air in about six weeks. On his website, the fitness guru can be seen in workout videos shot along the same stretch of tracks where he died.
Lustgarten told TheWrap Plitt “did not have permission to shoot those videos” or the one the actor was working on Saturday. “When a permit is filed, we normally assign a flagman to the shoot.” The flagman knows Metrolink’s train schedules, communicates with operations and lets the film crew know if a train is coming.
However, Lustgarten said none of that happened. “This was an unauthorized shoot,” he continued. When asked if he was certain that a permit request had not been submitted for the weekend shoot, Lustgarten added, “We’ve double and triple-checked.”
The Metrolink spokesman also said that the train’s engineer and conductor have been placed on administrative leave.
“Whenever there’s an incident like this, we automatically take the crew out of commission for an unspecified amount of time,” Lustgarten said. “They are undergoing trauma counseling.”
City News Service contributed to this report.
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