BONAIRE -- A man walking the railroad tracks was struck by a southbound train and killed shortly after noon Wednesday near the U.S. Post Office in Bonaire.
Freddie L. Meek Jr., 41, of Bonaire, was wearing earphones and apparently did not hear the train approaching, a Houston County Sheriff’s Office news release stated.
Meek was walking south along the tracks with his back to the train as it approached.
“Apparently, the guy was distracted,” said Houston County sheriff’s Lt. Jon Holland. “He didn’t realize the train was coming.”
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Witnesses on the Norfolk Southern train as well as witnesses who were working outside nearby told authorities the man “never looked back or moved or nothing,” Holland said.
“Witnesses saw some type of listening device, earphones, something of that nature,” Holland said.
The incident was called in by Norfolk Southern at 12:09 p.m., Holland said.
The train had sounded its horn as it approached the intersection of Ga. 247 and Ga. 96. The train sounded the horn again as personnel onboard spotted the man ahead on the tracks, Holland said.
The man was struck on the tracks between Azalea Avenue and Davis Road, and his body was dragged several hundred yards, Holland estimated.
Church Street was closed at its intersection with Ga. 247 for about 90 minutes because of the fatality, Holland said. Ga. 247 traffic continued to flow, he said.
“From all indications, it was a tragic accident,” Holland said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Houston County sheriff’s Cpl. George Runyon at (478) 542-2080.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.