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Police and fire

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One dead, one injured in separate train mishaps

Donna Niles told the boys to stay away from the train tracks.

Repeatedly she told them to never get near them, that they couldn’t outrun a train if it came barreling down.

She even grounded her grandson for a week when she found him playing under a bridge near the tracks running behind her home in the 3100 block of McDonald Street.

But Sunday, her grandson was running up to her house with tears in his eyes, calling for help.

Niles found the path her grandson and his friend had carved through some weeds leading to the tracks behind her house.

And at the end of it she found a 10-year-old boy, a friend of her grandson, who had been hit by a train.

“His leg was hanging on by a little bit,” she said.

The accident was the second separate incident involving a pedestrian struck by a train over the weekend.

On Sunday, rescue workers were taking the boy, who was hovering between serious and critical condition, to a hospital in hopes of saving his leg.

Late Saturday night, a man in a motorized wheelchair was killed in New Haven.

In that incident, police got a call at about 10:30 p.m. that a pedestrian had been struck by a train at the intersection of Main and West streets.

They arrived to find the man dead, according to New Haven Police.

The man and his wheelchair eventually came to rest several yards west of the intersection on the north side of the tracks.

Detective Jeff McCracken of the New Haven Police Department said officers were still working on finding out if the man was stuck on the tracks or trying to cross them when he was struck.

Although the man was killed by the impact with the train, McCracken said he did not get run over by the train and described the impact as more of a sideswipe.

Statements from the train’s crew to police indicated the cross arms and flashing lights at the intersection were functional at the time of the crash.

The man’s name was being withheld pending family notification.

In Sunday’s incident, police were called to the 3100 block of McDonald Street, on the south side of Fort Wayne just off Lumbard Street, at about 5 p.m.

The boy who was struck was trying to jump on the train and slipped, according to Niles.

She said his leg was run over and that he was screaming “I’m going to die” by the time she got to him.

Those tracks have a fence blocking them from the line of residential houses near them as well as copious amounts of foliage.

Niles, though, said it looked like the boys had dug through some weeds, found a spot where there was no fence and created their own path to the train tracks.

Whenever Niles scolded her grandson and his friends about being by the tracks, she said they’d assure her they could get away from the trains in time.

“I told them you can’t get away from those things moving that fast,” she said.

As of Sunday, officials had yet to release the identity of the man killed in New Haven.

An updated condition for the boy was also unavailable.

cmeyers@jg.net

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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