(Cullman, Alabama – April 26, 2013)
The tragic death of a 74-year-old Cullman, AL man, who lived about two miles from CSX railroad tracks in Cullman County, AL, and was killed instantly Friday morning as he attempted to avoid an oncoming CSX freight train on the tracks that “run through the heart of the city and county” according to the local newspaper, The Cullman Times, has been ruled an accident.
Wayne Wesley Floyd was pronounced dead at the scene, about 1.5 miles north of Alabama Highway 157 in the community known as South Vinemont, by Cullman County Coroner Steve Rodgers, who called the tragedy an “accidental death.” The lead locomotive’s snowplow struck the victim in the head. “The train wasn’t travelling very quickly, and the conductor (locomotive engineer) did attempt to stop once he saw the man,” said Coroner Rodgers.
Cullman County Sheriff Mike Rainey said that “From what we can gather by talking to the conductor, he (Floyd) was possibly trying to get out of the way, but it was too late. Sheriff Rainey added that “We believe he was disoriented, which is how he ended up there (on the CSX railroad tracks).”
Although no official source of the diagnosis was offered, other than “investigators,” “The man may have been suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, which led him to wander onto the tracks.”
It is common for railroad authorities to attempt to divert responsibility for tragedies such as occurred Friday morning by suggesting impairment on the part of the victim, whether such condition exists or not.