NTSB preliminary report shows April death of railroad employee was result of being struck by remote-control locomotive

NTSB preliminary report shows April death of railroad employee was result of being struck by remote-control locomotive

June 11th, 2019 by Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

This graphic from an NTSB report shows the approximate point where a Tennessee railroad employee was struck by a remote-control locomotive at the north end of the Wauhatchie Rail Yard.

Updated at 6:24 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, with more information.

A National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report indicates that the April death of a CSX Transportation railroad employee was a result of being struck by a remote-control locomotive at the north end of the Wauhatchie Rail Yard.

The employee, 46-year-old Allen Lowe, had worked for CSX Transportation for 24 years, according to his obituary in the Johnson City Press.

He was struck and killed at around 5:40 p.m. on April 13 just after finishing work on track 11, the NTSB report states.

For protection, Lowe had placed a blue signal sign on the track he was working on, the report states. When he was done, he got into his truck and drove it across the north rails and parked it near the switch for track 11.

Lowe then got out of the truck and walked to track 11 by crossing the north rail to remove the blue sign that he had placed between the rails, according to the report. After removing the blue sign, he then returned towards the track 11 switch to remove the lock.

At that time, the remote-control locomotive's operator, who was riding on the rear of the third railcar, was moving the locomotive off track 14 and onto the north rail when he saw Lowe's truck cross the track in front of the locomotive, the report states.

The operator brought the locomotive to a stop to allow the truck to clear the tracks. Then, after waiting a short amount of time and seeing no activity ahead, he resumed moving the locomotive, reaching a speed of 9 mph, according to the report.

NTSB investigators, who have been working with the Federal Railroad Administration, CSX Transportation and railroad workers' unions, reviewed video footage recorded by a stationary yard camera. Investigators noted that Lowe had crossed the rail and had his back toward the locomotive when he was struck.

Contact Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.


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