Local News

Freight train hits, kills man in Orange County

Posted August 8, 2012

— A man was struck and killed by a freight train early Wednesday along a stretch of railroad between Mebane and Efland, authorities said.

Major C.S. Blackwood, with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, said Andrew Wayne Farrell III, 34, of 1010 Louis St., Burlington, had been sitting on the tracks when the eastbound Norfolk Southern train hit him around 5:45 a.m.

Robin Chapman, a spokesman with Norfolk Southern Corp., said Farrell was sitting about two-tenths of a mile west of the crossing at Redman Crossing Road near U.S. Highway 70, facing away from the oncoming train.

He said the train blew its horn, but the man did not respond.

Blackwood said investigators do not expect to file charges.


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  • dae66 Aug 8, 2012

    "Freight train hits, kills man" Come on WRAL writers! The man was sitting on railroad tracks when he was hit by a freight train. The way you word this, it seems the train sought out the man! lol
    This is very sad for the man though.

  • jcthai Aug 8, 2012

    Re: the headline. I'm having a hard time remembering a train every killing someone without hitting them.

  • xyzzy Aug 8, 2012

    Freight train stopping distance depends on many factors such as length of train (not all cars in a train apply brakes instantaneously), whether the freight cars are fully loaded, whether the terrain is flat or uphill or downhill, whether the track is straight or curved, how many locomotives are in use, etc. Most railroad people would say that a typical freight train on level track at 30 mph would stop in roughly one-half a mile, if the engineer "dumps the air" and goes into emergency braking. But the point is correct that trains cannot stop on a dime.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Aug 8, 2012

    What a tragedy! My condolences to his family and many friends.

  • hpr641 Aug 8, 2012

    Not sure what it has to do with the story, but since you mentioned it ... pedestrian just means someone who travels on foot. If we can assume he traveled to the tracks on foot, then he would have been a ... pedestrian.

    You gotta feel for the engineer and the first responders, along with the deceased's family.

  • pinball wizard Aug 8, 2012

    Sad for all involved. Some one that feels that their life is not worth living, the train engineer, the families and the rescue personnel.

  • Zoey0815 Aug 8, 2012

    This is a sad situation all around and the ripple effect of this accident (or suicide) are quite large. I feel for the engineer who will have to psychologically deal with this, as well as the emergency crews who were first on site. Let's not forget the clean up crews who have to take care of what's left of the person, and believe me, train vs. person is very often incredibly gory. And lastly, my heart goes out to this person's family who have lost someone they love.

  • fishon Aug 8, 2012

    If the person was sitting on the track why are they referred to as a pedestrian? Pedestrian relates to walking, or a lack of vitality or imagination.

  • raleigh292 Aug 8, 2012

    Sad. All engineers know they are going to kill someone (assist in suicide), it's just a matter of when and not if. And there is not one thing they can do to stop it as a fraight trains takes at least a mile to stop at 30mph.