(Cherokee County, Kansas – June 21, 2014)
A 30-year-old resident of Pittsburg, KS, enjoying an overnight camping and fishing outing in Cherokee County, KS died early Saturday morning at about 5:25 A.M., CDT when he was struck by a BNSF freight train as he walked along BNSF Railway tracks from the coal pit area where he had spent the night.
Shanon D. Devore had been near the small town of Scammon, KS pursuing his passion, and had used the railroad pathway to access the fishing site. The area was long the site of enormous strip mining operations, and the pits left after the coal ran out are popular with sportsmen.
Officers from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office were called to the site by railroad personnel, and found the victim’s body near the tracks north of Coal Valley Road and east of Kansas Highway 7. According to Federal Railroad Administration documents, an average of eight BNSF freight trains roll through the rail corridor each day at a maximum allowable speed of 50 mph.
Authorities would not comment on the tragedy due to an impending autopsy.