Gregory Plitt, the fitness model and reality TV star killed Saturday, was filming video for his website, trying to get action shots, when he tripped and was struck by an oncoming train, friends said.
"He just made a mistake," his friend Warren Coulter said Monday.
Plitt, 37, was struck by a southbound train while filming about 4 p.m. just north of the Burbank Metrolink Station, police said.
Coulter was not at the site when the tragedy occurred but said he spoke to film crew members who were at the scene. He said Plitt was trying to get action photos and may have acted like Superman as he filmed a video for his website. The old saying says Superman is "more powerful than a locomotive."
Metrolink officials said Plitt and his film crew did not have permission to be on the commuter railroad's right-of-way.
It is considered trespassing, a misdemeanor offense, to be on or near railroad tracks without the authorization of the railroad company, the operator or provisions of state and federal law.
Plitt had used the same stretch of Burbank railroad tracks for filming other fitness videos, lifting barbells and doing push-ups on the tracks.
Burbank Police Sgt. Scott Meadows confirmed that Plitt was with a crew of two who were filming when the conductor blew the horn. Plitt did not react to the horn. He was struck by the train and pushed off the tracks.
Police interviewed the crew -- a man and woman -- and seized the video for evidence. The investigation is ongoing.
He was the star of the Bravo reality show "Work Out" and appeared on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives" as well as in films such as "Terminator Salvation" and "Grudge Match."
Michael Ewing, a producer who was close friends with the reality TV star, said Plitt, a rock climber and avid skydiver, was "the most alive person" he'd ever met. He said Plitt's body was the model for the ultra-fit Dr. Manhattan in the 2009 film "Watchmen."
"He was fearless," Ewing said. "That's why it's so sad, but he could not outrun this last thing."
The Federal Railroad Administration said trespassing on railroad rights-of-way is the cause of the most rail-related deaths in the United States.
In Los Angeles and surrounding counties, about 30 people a year are struck and killed by Metrolink, Amtrak and freight trains, according to Lustgarten. Nationally, more than 400 people are killed a year and nearly as many are injured along rights-of-way. The vast majority of these deaths and injuries are preventable, federal officials say.
The incident triggered lawsuits and multiple investigations by state and federal authorities.
Last summer, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the Pasadena-based film company for safety violations and proposed penalties of $74,900.