One Child Killed, Another Injured in Indiana Freight Train Crash
PORTAGE, IN. – August 8, 2018 (accessatlanta.com) According to an online news report from accessatlanta.com, one toddler was killed and another was seriously injured when a freight train hit them in Portage, Indiana.*
A 3-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl wandered out of their house in a mobile home park. Family members said the little boy was very interested in trains, and his sister followed him everywhere. The two children went down to the train tracks about four mobile homes away from theirs and were struck by an eastbound freight train.
Emergency responders pronounced the boy dead at the scene. The girl was airlifted to the University of Chicago Medicine Comer’s Children’s Hospital with critical injuries. Her current medical condition is not known, but a family member reported she was awake and talking.
It is not clear whether the children’s parents, Kelsey Benson and Jacob Wilson, were home at the time. Robert Gowens (relationship to the children not known) was with the children that morning and said he stepped outside to have a cigarette. He saw the train coming and observed the conductor waving his arms but did not see the children because of a steep weed-covered embankment in front of the tracks.
Reports indicate the conductor saw the children, blew the horn, and tried to stop the train. He was not able to stop in time to avoid the collision.
A spokesperson from CSX Railroad said the train was owned by Norfolk Southern Railroad and operating on the CSX tracks on a temporary agreement. In remarks following the accident, Norfolk Southern said it extended its condolences to the family, friends, and everyone else affected by the tragic incident.
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