September 22, 2014

Elyria
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Sister: Man killed by train not suicidal

Kenneth Sheldon

Kenneth Sheldon

ELYRIA — Kenneth Sheldon, the man killed Sunday by a train in Elyria, was not suicidal, according to his sister.

Sandra Carter said Sheldon liked to walk by train tracks and believes the death may have been an accident caused by Sheldon’s alcoholism rather than suicide.

“It’s not like him,” Carter said. “He wasn’t depressed.”

Sheldon was struck and killed by an eastbound Norfolk Southern freight train at 4:05 p.m. Sunday off North Street between Chestnut and West Bridge streets. Firefighter Bryant Lieux said a Norfolk Southern employee told him Sheldon was lying on the tracks and sat up before being struck. A report on the death was unavailable Monday, police said.

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 and while no note was found at the scene, suicide was suspected. However, Carter said she believes the death was accidental.

Carter, 60, said she last talked to Sheldon, 53, Thursday or Friday when he thanked Carter for lending him money. Carter said Sheldon, a father of three adult children, was in good spirits.

Police said Sunday that Sheldon was homeless, but Carter said he was living with friends in the 2500 block of 37th Street in Lorain. Carter said Sheldon had been receiving Social Security disability payments because of his emphysema, but previously worked as a construction worker and had worked for a few years at the Elyria Foundry.

Despite his alcoholism, Carter said Sheldon was a good person.

“He was a sweetheart,” she said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com