CASHMERE, Wash. -

Gary Gardner, 71, of Cashmere, died when he was hit by an Amtrak train early Monday morning.

The Chelan County Sheriff's Office reports they were called out to the Stines Hill area west of Cashmere where an Amtrak train had hit a person standing in the railroad tracks.

The train conductor told authorities that he came around a corner going approximately 40 mph when he saw the man walk into the tracks about a quarter mile down the rail line. The conductor sounded the horn and began emergency braking procedures.

He said the victim looked up at the train several times before he was struck.

The Chelan County Sheriff's Office said they are "puzzled as to why Mr. Gardner was on the train tracks."

Detectives on the case said that Gardner was planning to be out of town for recreational purposes and had already made several lodging reservations.

They are continuing to investigate.