Atmore man struck, killed by CSX freight train
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Authorities are still at a loss as to why an Atmore man apparently intentionally stepped into the path of a CSX freight train as it roared through the city last week.
Eric Edwards Smith, 40, of Atmore was reportedly killed instantly when the westbound freight was unable to stop and plowed into him at the Martin Luther King Avenue crossing, just a few yards off West Nashville Avenue (U.S. 31), around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6.
According to a press release issued by Sgt. Robby Williams of APD’s Criminal Investigations Division, the crossing arms were down, the red lights were flashing and the train’s engineer sounded the horn several times. Still, witnesses reported, Smith made no effort to get off the tracks.
Police Chief Chuck Brooks said this week that Smith “climbed over the crossing arms and onto the tracks.”
Police and an ASAP ambulance were dispatched to the site of the fatal incident. The first officers on the scene discovered Smith’s body “face down on the grass adjacent to the railroad tracks.”
The ambulance crew tried in vain to resuscitate Smith, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
A memorial service is set for Saturday, February 16, from Miller Funeral Service Chapel in Selma, and burial is set to follow in Selma’s Lorenzo Harrison Memorial Gardens.
Unconfirmed reports are that Smith had recently become separated from a woman with whom he was living.
City police and CSX Transportation investigators are jointly conducting the on-going investigation into the fatal incident.