Man found dead after being struck by train

Victim, 42, lying on track did not respond to horn

Hampstead

September 22, 2004|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

A Hampstead man was found dead early yesterday after being run over by a train, state police said.

An engineer operating a CSX freight train traveling east from Hanover, Pa., to Baltimore told police he saw a man, later identified as Jeffrey Alan Andrews, 42, lying on railroad tracks between Shiloh and Gill avenues in Hampstead about 2:10 a.m.

The engineer, who was not identified, saw a body clothed in white and tried to warn Andrews with a horn, but he did not respond, state police said. The engineer and his crew attempted to stop the train but were unsuccessful.

"You can't stop a great big train on a dime," said Sgt. David Warner of the Westminster barracks.

He said Andrews was pronounced dead at the scene and that his body was taken to the state medical examiner, who will determine whether Andrews was alive when the train struck him.

CSX spokeswoman Misty Skipper said the three-engine train was hauling 43 cars loaded with a variety of merchandise. At 6,000 tons, the train could not stop in time to avoid hitting Andrews, she said.

When the engineer sounded the horn and realized Andrews was not moving, the crew put the train into what is called "emergency" - the fastest way to stop the train using its air braking system, she said.

Skipper said CSX has not had a similar incident in Carroll County in at least five years, but she said accidents like this, classified as trespasser incidents, are not uncommon.

CSX participates in a state-run program called Operation Lifesaver, which is designed to inform children and adults of the dangers of trespassing on railroad property.

Last year, 616 people were killed by trains when they trespassed onto railroad tracks, said Steve Kulm, spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration. In Maryland, eight people died while crossing tracks last year.

Starting in 1997, he said, the number of people killed by trains while trespassing exceeded those killed by trains while in their vehicles. Last year, 329 people in vehicles were killed by trains.

"Trespassing is the No. 1 cause of fatalities involving trains," Kulm said. He said two-thirds of those deaths involve freight trains. But he cautioned that suicides are not included in the statistics.

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