A man is being treated at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital after he was struck by a train near the Joseph C. Bartolo Memorial Bridge, over Monongahela River, Tuesday morning.
According to Westover Police Officer Michael Keeble, at approximately 8:36 a.m. Tuesday, he responded to a report that a person had been hit by a train. Westover Volunteer Fire Department and Monongalia EMS also responded to the scene.
Keeble said the Norfolk Southern train was traveling south at around 24 mph when the train operator said he saw a man running from the river and across the tracks but was unable to stop the train in time to avoid hitting the man.
When police and Mon EMS arrived on scene, the victim was unresponsive, but still breathing Keeble said. The officer said the victim had, at a minimum, sustained severe injuries around the face.
Because the victim was located between the tracks and the river and the train was stopped on the tracks, it caused some issues for responders upon departure with the patient, Monongalia EMS officials said.
According to Director Forest Weyen, “Mon EMS was able to work with representatives from the railroad to move the train allowing Mon EMS personnel to safely extricate the patient and transport to Ruby Memorial Hospital with what we believe to be non-life-threatening injuries.”
The victim was not identified by Tuesday evening, but Keeble believed him to be a member of the unhoused community in Morgantown.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the victim was said to be in an operating room at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
It’s not the first time a pedestrian has been hit by a train near that bridge.
In April 2018, Kristopher Barlow, of Greenbrier County, was hit by a Norfolk Southern train in the same general area as Tuesday’s incident. At the time, he was undergoing surgeries, including one for his brain.
His mother told The Dominion Post then that he was in the area because his girlfriend was in an area hospital, and he was walking the tracks from downtown Morgantown to Evansdale to visit her. She said he was wearing ear buds and did not hear the train approaching.