BONNIE — A Mt. Vernon man was killed Saturday after being struck by a Union Pacific freight train at Atchison Creek, about one-half mile south of Bonnie.
Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Joe Marks said 27-year-old Dominique Dontez McCrae died of blunt force trauma after being struck by the northbound train. The incident happened around 11:30 a.m.
According to preliminary reports, McCrae and two other friends were fishing on a railroad trestle over the creek. Marks said McRae got off the trestle to the north — further from his fishing gear — when he went back to retrieve his gear and was then struck by the train. According to a sheriff’s department news release, McCrae began running southbound on the tracks in an attempt to exit the bridge before the train reached him. McCrae was struck about center way of the bridge. The force of the collision knocked McCrae over the bridge railing and into the creek bed, the release stated.
Marks said the victim did not know how to swim, which may have been a contributing factor in why he decided to stay on the trestle.
“There is not room on the trestle for anybody when a train is coming through at 40 mph,” Marks said. “He apparently thought he could beat the train.” Marks added authorities may know more about the accident after reviewing video from train officials.
McCrae’s body was retrieved from the water and pronounced dead at the scene. Ina Chief of Police Travis Allen said authorities were able to obtain a johnboat from Todd Allen which assisted in the recovery efforts.
The area near the creek is posted “no trespassing,” although the location is frequented by area fishermen. According to sheriff’s department logs, two men were cited by Ina Police at 9 p.m. Saturday for being on the railroad bridge after railroad officials requested extra patrols in the area.
Obituary information on McCrae can be found on Page 2A of today’s edition.