The Times West Virginian

Headline News

June 30, 2014

2 killed when hit by train on bridge, boy survives

CHILHOWIE, Virginia — A man and a girl were hit by a train and killed Sunday while fishing from a railroad bridge, and a boy who was with them survived by dropping roughly 30 feet to the ground below, officials said.

The Norfolk Southern train was traveling near Chilhowie in rural southwestern Virginia about 2 p.m. when its crew saw the group and put on the emergency brakes, spokesman Robin Chapman said. The man and the girl tried to stand off to the side on the bridge, but were still hit by the train.

“There’s no room on a trestle. When the train comes by, it takes up the entire width of the bridge,” he said.

The boy dropped between the rails, which were about 25 to 30 feet high, but it wasn’t clear whether he went into water or on the ground, Chapman said. He was initially reported missing, but showed up at a relative’s house several hours later. He was taken to a hospital, but didn’t have any signs of injuries, Chapman said.

The Smyth County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the man was 52 years old, the girl was 7 and the boy was 8. The release did not identify them and a police dispatcher said no one was immediately available to talk.

The bridge was about 200 feet long. The mixed freight train consisted of three locomotives and 74 cars and the track speed was 45 mph. Chapman said a train that size traveling at that speed would take about 1 mile to stop.

 

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