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DeKalb Medical Examiner will rule Decatur train death an ‘accident’


DeKalb Medical Examiner will rule Decatur train death an ‘accident’

Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Patrick Bailey, Director of the DeKalb Medical Examiner’s Office, tells Decaturish that the death of a skateboarder struck by a train in Decatur will officially be ruled an “accident.”

The investigation is still ongoing, Decatur Police say.

Decatur Police say that on March 7, Alfred Wallace, 29, from Ellenwood, GA, was crossing the tracks on his skateboard in the 200 block of East Trinity Place. The train was traveling east bound. The crossing signal was down, the police report says.

There were some conflicting accounts about whether Wallace was trying to cross the tracks. Pietro DiGennaro, told Decaturish he was working at the Piece of Cake bakery when he looked out the window and saw a man on the tracks. He said he saw Wallace stop as the train came toward him.

Another witness listed in the preliminary police report, who asked not to be identified, said she saw the victim hop off his skateboard and attempt to walk across the tracks. The victim did not intentionally stop, she said.

“There was not even a flinch. It was one fluid motion,” she said.

Deputy Police Chief Keith Lee said officers interviewed numerous witnesses at the scene.

“All possibilities are investigated,” Lee said.

Bailey said he ruled out the possibility that Wallace intentionally walked in front of the train.

“In our opinion, based on his history, it didn’t appear that was his intent to do so,” he said.

Kristin Seay, a spokesperson with the CSX rail company, said the train was headed to Camak, Ga. from Nashville, Tenn., and had two locomotives and 42 rail cars loaded with construction materials.

“CSX’s sympathies are with all involved in this tragic accident,” Seay said.