Police said Joshua Kosch, 19, was crossing the tracks Friday afternoon near the Hay Street Depot. He was trying to get to the Dickens Holiday Festival. His parents said they believe he was watching a train pass, and didn't see another train coming from the opposite direction.
“Because of the noise of that train, he did not even realize there was a northbound train coming on him,” father Dave Kosch said.
“Josh had been gone for such a long time. We couldn't figure out where he was at. To have a call like that, it's every parent's nightmare,” mother Barbara Kosch said.
Investigators said witnesses tried to get Kosch's attention, but he didn't hear them. When the train hit, Kosch became lodged underneath it.
A spokesperson from CSX said the train that hit Kosch was traveling from Hamlet, N.C. to Selkirk, N.Y., near Albany. Since it was pulling 93 freight cars, it could have taken a mile or more for the train to stop.
The conductor did everything he could to avoid hitting Kosch, the CSX spokesperson said.
“I can only imagine the horror he must have seen not being able to stop that train,” Barbara Kosch said.
Kosch's family said they don't blame anyone for the accident. They are looking into how many police officers were directing pedestrians in the area. The Dickens Festival draws thousands of folks to downtown Fayetteville every year.