On Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:36 AM, La Porte Police Department officers responded to the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks just east of Pulaski Street in La Porte reference to person being struck by an eastbound train. Upon arrival, officers found that a female victim, age 37, of La Porte had indeed been struck by the train and was deceased.
A witness, from a distance of approximately 200 yards, saw the woman, who was alone at the time, walking next to the railroad, walk out on the tracks and then sit down facing west toward the eastbound train. The witness could hear a train in the immediate area and then saw the woman get struck by the train. The witness stated that the train was blowing it horn as it approached the area.
Norfolk Southern crew members on the train made statements that were identical to what the witness stated. The crew applied full emergency braking to the train but was unable to stop until some distance after striking the lady. The train, which consisted of two locomotives and 70 unloaded cars and was approximately 7,000 feet long, was travelling at about 38 mph at the time of the incident.
Members of the La Porte Police Department’s Uniform Division and Detective Bureau investigated the incident as did the La Porte County Coroner’s Office. A notebook was found in the woman’s vehicle that had notes in which she apologized for her actions and said goodbye to family members. The La Porte Fire Department and La Porte County Emergency Medical Service also responded to the scene as Norfolk Southern Elkhart Trainmaster. La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan pronounced the woman dead at the scene from massive multi-system trauma and a skull fracture.
The La Porte Police Department has no comment to make on this incident other to observe that it was a very tragic and regrettable situation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members and friends of the woman involved.