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W.Va. man struck by train

July 08, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

A Kearneysville-area man was in critical condition Sunday night after he was struck by a freight train Saturday night near a railroad overpass, officials said.

Police believe Michael Washington was sitting near the railroad tracks with his back to the tracks when he was struck about 9:30 p.m., said Jesse Jones, chief deputy of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

Washington may have been sitting on the ties of the track, Jones said.

Workers in the oncoming train noticed Washington about 500 feet away and began blowing a horn, Jones said.

Washington did not respond, Jones said.

Washington was struck by the train and knocked from the tracks, Jones said.

Washington suffered two broken shoulders, a punctured lung, two lacerations to the back area and several broken ribs, Jones said.

Washington was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition Sunday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

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The 20-car train was traveling about 50 mph and was en route from Chicago to Philadelphia, according to Jones and Bob Sullivan, spokesman for CSX Transportation.

The train stopped after Washington was struck, said Sullivan, adding it can take a train up to a mile and a half to stop.

Washington was sitting just east of a railroad overpass that crosses W.Va. 480 near the intersection with W.Va. 9, Jones said.

Jones said he did not know how old Washington was but estimated him to be in his mid-30s.

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