November 25, 2014


Man struck by train identified


Police and EMS search for a body on the railroad tracks on Wednesday night on the bridge overlooking East Bridge Street. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Police and EMS search for a body on the railroad tracks on Wednesday night on the bridge overlooking East Bridge Street. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA – Police have identified a man who was struck and killed by an oncoming train Wednesday, though they don’t know whether the death was the result of a suicide or an accident.

Christopher M. Hepler, 40, of West River Road in Elyria was killed by a Norfolk Southern train near 150 E. Bridge St about 9:50 p.m. Wednesday.

Elyria Police Lt. William Pelko said Hepler was lying on the tracks before the train hit him.

“We’re not ruling suicide yet,” Pelko said, adding that family members told police Hepler would often walk along the tracks around town.

Police are also looking at whether alcohol was a contributing factor in Hepler’s death as Hepler was walking home from a nearby bar at the time of the incident, according to Pelko.

Hepler, who worked at Smink Electric in Elyria, was married and had a 17-year-old daughter, Pelko said.


  • John Boy

    RIP Chris

  • Hotwheelshaven Atcarlisle

    Anybody who knew Chris knows that the last thing he would ever do would be to willingly harm his family, especially his daughter, by a selfish act – he was among the least selfish, most helpful, decent people I know – a True Friend, and he will be greatly missed.

  • Shontel D Farr

    You will be missed “Bug” R.I.P.

  • Mark B

    People , stay off of the RR Tracks , not only is it Dangerous it is Illegal , you are trepassing by walking on RR property. If you know someone who walks the tracks talk to them and encourage them to walk elsewhere.Taking a shortcut is not worth your life.

  • Christopher Carter

    RIP Chris

  • Dave Sommers

    Doesn’t sound like an accident if he was lying on the tracks. Although, I’d like to think otherwise. Drinking at the bar will make anyone depressed.

    • Joe Smith

      Could easily been an accident. If he drank too much ( and I am not saying this is the case) and passed out on the tracks or was even sober and fell on the tracks and hit his head knocking himself out, both scenarios would be accidents.

      I hope peace for the family

  • DR.X

    I am with Carlisle, I have known chris for almost 20 years . he would NEVER do this to his family! he was honest hard working and one of the best guys you could ever meet! if drinking was a factor (witch it could be) this is a horrible shame! but there is more to this story! prayers to the family love ya bro RIP BUGGIE

  • Arietta Sullivan

    R.I.P BUG