(Florence, South Carolina – May 2, 2013)
Two Florence, SC men, walking toward home along a double-track CSX main line as they usually did after work, were unable to hear an Amtrak train, headed from New York, NY to Savannah, GA with 133 passengers on board, approaching behind them when its sound was drowned out by a CSX freight train passing on a parallel track in the opposite direction, were struck from behind and killed instantly Thursday afternoon at about 5:45 P.M. near Florence, SC.
Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken identified the victims as Bradley S. “Jimmy” Keller, 28, and Jason David Mains, 22, both originally from Vermont, but most recently working and living in Florence. Both the victims and the Amtrak train were northbound, and the freight train was southbound on a rail line which accommodates an average of 21 CSX and Amtrak trains daily at a top allowable speed of 79 mph.
One observer said “A lot of people walk that path alongside of the track. This is just tragic, regardless of the circumstances.”
Investigators, which included the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Florence County Sheriff’s Office and CSX Police, said they believed the victims simply didn’t hear the train coming from behind them because of the noise of the train headed toward them.