MORGANTOWN — Just before 10 a.m. Wednesday April 4, emergency crews responded to a train vs. pedestrian accident near the Westover Bridge.
Monongalia County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Al Kisner confirmed that a 35-year-old man was hit by a fully loaded Norfolk Southern coal train Wednesday morning. The unnamed victim experienced “serious injuries” and was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital. As of 4:21 p.m., Kisner said the victim was still in critical condition.
Authorities in Greenbrier County have been contacted and are attempting to notify the man’s family, Kisner said.
The crew of the train tried to warn the man by blowing the horn, Jonathan Glass, Norfolk Southern spokesperson, said. Glass said he understands the man was walking north between the rails of the track with his back towards the train.
“You can’t swerve a train like you can a car,” Glass said, explaining depending on the weight and speed trains can take as far as a mile to stop. The train involved consisted of two locomotive engines and 131 loaded coal cars.
Glass could not say where the train was going, but did confirm it was traveling north. The train resumed its route at 12:15 p.m.
Kisner said a railroad company investigation team was on its way. Glass said the company could conduct its own internal investigation, but is not obligated to share any of those findings.