(Meridian Township, Michigan – May 26, 2013)
A still publicly-unidentified 34-year-old Michigan male pedestrian was killed Sunday around 4:00 P.M. when he was struck by a CSX freight train and his body dragged for two miles along a heavily tree-lined CSX, single-track railroad corridor in Meridian Township, MI.
The victim, whose condition made positive identification next to impossible, and such was being withheld pending notification of and confirmation of his identity by relatives. Finding of clues to his identity was made further difficult by the scattering of evidence along the two-mile-long debris field.
The man was walking along the tracks in an area where there was room for the railroad tracks and little else, with the nearest cross streets being Dobie Road and Sylvan Glen in Ingham County. According to Federal Railroad Administration records, only four CSX trains travel through the corridor daily at a top allowable speed of 40 mph. Railroads claim a train travelling at 60 mph can take up to a mile or more to stop, but why this particular train could not come to a halt before rolling twice that distance at two-thirds the speed defied explanation. Whether or not there was a warning whistle blown by the engineer was also unconfirmed, but a woman who lives nearby gave her account of the quietness of the trains that pass through the rail corridor. “Once I was near the crossing – the second crossing on our street – and I did not hear the train at all. It was very quiet,” observed Sandy Firestone, who is a neighbor to the railroad track. “I was really surprised to see the train right in front of me because I never thought I could miss a train or the sound of a train.”
Public agency and railroad police were playing their cards close to the vest regarding release of information in regard to the tragedy.