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Coroner: Pedestrian hit by train stood in tracks

Jan 23, 2011 7:09:00 PM - thestate.com
A 32-year-old Blythewood man, Herbert McDuffie III, was standing on the railroad tracks Friday when a Norfolk Southern train struck him, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said.

“Mr. McDuffie did not make any kind of an effort to get out of the way,” Watts said Sunday. “The train was blowing its whistle.”

McDuffie died instantly just before midnight Friday, Watts said. He was in the tracks near Hobart Road off Farrow Road.

It was the second time in two months a Norfolk Southern train has killed a pedestrian in Richland County. In mid-December, a train killed a 57-year-old English tourist taking a shortcut by walking across a trestle near Broad River and just south of I-20. That death was ruled an accident.

Watts said that suicide is a “possibility” in the latest train death and said an investigation — including blood tests to assess alcohol or drug use — is under way.