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Train strikes, kills W.Va. man

June 14, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

by JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

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Train strikes and kills WV man

SHARPSBURG - A 24-year-old man was killed early Saturday in an apparent suicide when he was struck by a train in a rural area northwest of Sharpsburg, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

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Russell Anthony Bergeron, of Martinsburg, W.Va., died instantly from multiple major traumas, said Dr. Edward Ditto III, Washington County medical examiner. The incident was reported at 9:17 a.m.

Bergeron was hit by a southbound Norfolk Southern train in a 50 mph zone next to a three-story tan home at 5704 Mondell Road, officials said.

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Ditto said the man landed about 50 feet from where he was struck.

"He's pretty badly mangled," Ditto said.

Ditto said a witness told him that the man was seen before the accident sitting on one of the rails with his shirt pulled over his head so only the top of his head was visible.

The train's engineer told police that he sounded the train's whistle and attempted to stop the train when he saw Bergeron seated on the tracks, but Bergeron failed to react to the warning.

Ditto said there was a report of a gun at the scene, but no weapon or gunshot wounds were found, he said.

The body will be taken to the Maryland Medical Examiner's Office Monday morning for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, police said.

Police are investigating why Bergeron may have wanted to commit suicide.

A resident of the nearby house, David Hoy, found the body, Deputy First Class James Grimm said.

Hoy had no comment.

Ditto said the train stopped after the accident until emergency officials could arrive and then continued on.

The tracks run along the yard and cross Mondell Road to the north. The body was found alongside the tracks at the bottom of an incline up to the house's yard.

Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services and Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co. also responded.

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