NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The pedestrian never had a chance when a CSX train came through North Tonawanda Friday afternoon.
According to North Tonawanda Police, the man was walking along the railroad tracks when he was struck and killed by a freight train just before three o'clock Friday afternoon.
Neighbor Tara Hewitt said, "I thought I heard a car accident. And I didn't hear no [sic] sirens. And then a few minutes later, I heard the squealing of the [wheels] of the train stopping. That's when I came out and I seen it was stopped. We don't usually have trains stopping right in our backyard."
The victim was dead by the time emergency responders arrived. His body has been taken to the Erie County Medical Center for an autopsy.
Police are now trying to figure out why he was on the tracks. They run parallel to River Road, and because of that, neighbors say they're often used as a thoroughfare by pedestrians and children.
"There's a lot of kids that go through a building, an empty building that's over there. And it makes you wonder if they go towards the tracks, or just walk around in the field," Hewitt said.
A spokeswoman for CSX tells News 4 the rail company is cooperating fully with the investigation. The victim's name will not be released, until his family has been notified of his death.
According to the not-for-profit group, Operation Lifesaver, a person or car is hit by a train every three hours. You can find railway safety tips and other resources here.
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