A 49 year old Abingdon, Va., man was struck by a train in the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 8, 2008. The man was walking on the Virginia Creeper Trail, which is near the railroad tracks, on his way home.
Abingdon Police Chief Tony Sullivan noted that the tracks provide a shortcut to "just about anywhere," because they run through the center of town.
The train that struck the man was 52 cars long and weighed over 2,783 tons. The train engineer saw the Abingdon man walking southbound on the tracks about 100 yards ahead of the train. The engineer sounded the horn and attempted to stop, but was unable. A spokesman for Norfolk-Southern says that it would typically take a train of that size at least a mile to stop.