Local News

October 6, 2012

Police: Man hit by train was homeless

The man who was hit by a train at a crossing on Abutment Road Thursday evening was homeless and hanging around the tracks at the time of the incident, officials said.

An incident report states Rodney Smith, 48, of Dalton, was hit by the cow sweep of a CSX train pulling 92 cars at about 7:45 p.m. According to the report by the Dalton Police Department, Smith had a head injury after being knocked about 20 feet down the tracks. He was taken to Hamilton Medical Center with what officials said were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. His condition on Friday wasn’t immediately available.

According to the report, the engineer blew the horn when Smith was spotted sitting on the tracks. The locomotive was traveling at about 20 mph when it hit him. The report states a witness said Smith “moved from the rail and sat down on the railroad tie on the outside of the rail.”

Walking on railroad tracks is considered illegal trespassing, but Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier said no charges are expected to be filed.

“It’s clearly posted on the railroads that you’re not to be on the tracks,” Frazier said. “Each of the railroads have their own police agencies, and they’ll investigate the same as we will, and if they want to make a charge against him they would be the more likely agency to handle that.”

A CSX spokesman said Friday evening there was no report on file about the incident yet.

Frazier said there was alcohol at the scene, but Smith’s blood alcohol level was unknown. A message left at a phone number listed for Smith wasn’t immediately returned.

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