BESSEMER, Ala. — A Norfolk Southern conductor trainee was killed early this morning (Tuesday, Dec. 13) in what is being described as a freak accident, Al.com reports.
Bessemer police report they were called to the accident scene about 1 a.m. The trainee and conductor were on a train when it passed another NS train. One of the trains apparently struck an object on the tracks, sending a piece of metal through a locomotive window, where it struck the victim. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim was subsequently identified by the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office as Walter James Griffin III, 43, of Hueytown, Ala.
WRBC-TV reports police and railroad investigators remain at the scene, and that the railroad released a statement saying “Norfolk Southern is grieving the loss of a member of our team today. Our hearts go out to his loved ones during this extremely difficult time, and we are working to provide grief counselors to his colleagues at our nearby facilities. An investigation is underway and company leadership is on-site to provide support.”
— Updated at 7:30 p.m. CST with identity of accident victim.
6 thoughts on “Norfolk Southern trainee killed in Alabama accident (updated)”
I see from other news articles this was an unusual incident. However, this still doesn’t change my concern about watching a fast moving train from the ground.
I don’t see anything in any of the stories about being on the ground inspecting another train. Both trains were moving, the conductor and trainee were both in the cab when the metal came through the windshield. May have been kicked up somehow by one of the trains or been part of a load on the other train, that appears to be in question
I don’t about the speeds involved, but there has to be a safer way to inspect a train as it goes by.
The sourced report says a metal beam was protruding from a car on the other train and the man’s name has been released.
What a terrible loss for his loved ones; before he even got out of training. My heart and prayers go out to them; that they will be surrounded by their church and community which will love, encourage, and support them during this awful time of grief and mourning.
Sorry to read this RIP.