BROWNSBURG — A heavy fog may have contributed to a fatal train crash Tuesday morning in Brownsburg, but investigators have yet to determine the exact cause of the accident.
Jeremy Strange, 25, of Brownsburg, was pronounced dead at the scene after his pickup truck, traveling southbound, was struck by a westbound CSX train behind the old Thrifty store at 800E. Main St.just after 7 a.m.
”He was in an S-10 pickup and was crossing over the tracks,”Stephanie Martindale with the Brownsburg Fire Territorysaid. “He was struck by the train and was pushed 40 or 50 feet. He was partially ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.”
Investigators believe that Strangewas not wearing his seatbelt.
”This is an area where there is a parking lot for Thrifty and what appears to be a private road that goes back to more businesses and some storage units,” Martindale said. “Eventually, proceeding north, you will meet up with Southpoint Circle.”
The area does not have any crossing arms or lights, but it does have stop signs on each side of the tracks.
Brownsburg Police Department Det. Sgt. Jennifer Pyatt said witnesses at the crash told investigators that they were able to see the train approach and hear the train give an audible signal upon approaching the intersection.
CSX officials alerted the Brownsburg Fire Territory that the train was about 1,500 feet long.
”We have found no leaking, so there is no damage to the train,” Martindale said. “Once the investigation clears, the train should be able to be removed from the tracks.”
The crash caused closures on Odell Street, but Grant Street and Northfield on the east side remained open.
Strange, a 2004 Brownsburg High School graduate, was in his first season as head coach of the boys’rugby club. The team met with high school administrators, counselors, and local church leaders Tuesday morning. The high school will have grief counselorson hand for students in need.
”This is a terrible blow to these young people here at the start of their season,”Brownsburg Athletics Director Greg Hill said. “Although the club was not a BHS sport, we are no less sensitive to their pain and want to provide all the support we can to our students and their families.”
This is the fourth train-vehicle accident recently along that stretch of railroad tracks in Hendricks and Boone counties. A fatal accident occurred in Jamestown with a car being struck, followed by one in Brownsburg in which a train struck an RV that was attempting to cross the tracks. In another accident over the winter, a Hendricks County Highway Department snow plow was struck by a train near Lizton. None of the sites had crossing guards in place.