Details were sketchy Friday night after a CSX train struck and killed a pedestrian who reportedly was on the railroad tracks near the Hwy. 144 crossing in Richmond Hill.
The victim was described only as female and apparently wasn't a local resident. Police knew her identity but didn't release it until relatives could be informed.
In the meantime, authorities were trying Friday to figure out why the victim was on the tracks.
"The accident is under investigation by Richmond Hill police in conjunction with the railroad," Richmond Hill Police Chief Billy Reynolds said. "We don't know why the individual was on the track. That's something we'll try to determine."
The incident occurred at some point shortly before 8 p.m. Authorities were called and detoured traffic around Hwy. 144. The victim’s body lay covered roughly 50-75 yards south of the highway and just west of the crossing.
Richmond Hill City Councilman Billy Albritton, who lives in the nearby Mulberry subdivision, was among those who heard the train trying to stop and then sirens as police and firefighters raced to the crossing.
“I was working on my air conditioner when the train came to a screeching halt,” Albritton said. “You just don’t hear that sound. And then all the sirens.”
Reynolds said more information would be available Monday. Both he and Albritton said this was the first pedestrian fatality on the railroad tracks in recent memory.
Whitten is editor of the Bryan County News