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Jeannette teen identified as victim in fatal train accident

October 2, 2018
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Crews work the scene where a pedestrian was struck by a Norfolk Southern train near Magee Avenue and Sixth Street in Jeannette, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018.

A train struck and killed a 16-year-old boy Tuesday morning in Jeannette, according to a Westmoreland County 911 dispatcher and the coroner’s office.

The coroner’s office identified the teen as Jonathon Brown of Jeanette and said he died from blunt force injuries.

The coroner’s office said Brown was walking east on the track. A Norfolk Southern conductor and engineer saw him about 7:30 a.m. on the tracks near Magee Avenue and Sixth Street. The train’s brakes were activated and its horn sounded, but Brown remained on the track, according to investigators.

Deputy Coroner John A. Ackerman pronounced Brown dead at the scene.

Jeannette police and Westmoreland County detectives investigated.

The coroner’s office continues to investigate and is awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Mason-Gelder Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

It was the second fatal collision involving a train and pedestrian this summer in Jeannette. Reid J. Gadagno, 21, of Manor died June 22 at the 13th Street rail crossing after being struck while walking along the tracks.

No further details had been released about Tuesday’s fatality.

Through June, 18 people had died on or near railroads in Pennsylvania -- including the one from June in Jeannette, according to the Federal Railroad Commission.

Nationwide, more than 400 people have died this year in incidents involving trains or on property near railroads, the federal agency reports.

Last year, 824 people died in train incidents, the agency reported. Of those, 31 died in Pennsylvania -- one each reported for Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties. Somerset County had two. By contrast, Philadelphia County had nine.

There were none recorded in Westmoreland County in 2017, but the Tribune-Review reported that a pedestrian died near Latrobe in April after being struck by a train on a Norfolk Southern railroad.

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