ELYRIA — A 53-year-old homeless man was struck and killed by an eastbound Norfolk Southern freight train around 4:05 p.m. Sunday off North Street between Chestnut and West Bridge streets.
A shirtless Kenneth Sheldon laid on his back on the south side of the tracks several feet from the stopped train around 4:55 p.m. when police officers placed a sheet over him. Two plastic bags with Sheldon’s belongings were near his body.
Firefighter Bryant Lieux said a Norfolk Southern employee told him Sheldon was lying on the tracks and sat up before being struck. Lieux said Sheldon was dead when firefighters arrived at the scene. Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans said Sheldon died of multiple blunt force trauma. He said while no note was found at the scene, the death is believed to have been a suicide.
Norfolk Southern spokesman Dave Pidgeon wrote in an email that the two crew members on the train were uninjured. Pidgeon said he didn’t know the speed of the 4,958-ton train at the time of the crash, but the speed for the area is 60 mph.
The 5,673-foot-long train was headed from Bellevue to Buffalo, N.Y. Trains in both directions were stopped for about 90 minutes after the crash.