RANSON — A Jefferson County man was killed after being struck by a train Sunday night, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.
Michael William Johnson, 23, of Ranson, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Jefferson County medical examiner after being struck by a Norfolk Southern Railway train at about 11:50 p.m. near Universal Forest Products in the area of 16th Avenue, said Chief of Staff Jesse Jones.
According to a statement by the train’s conductor, Johnson was sitting in between the rails on the track with his back to the Norfolk Southern Railway train as it approached. The train was unable to stop in time.
Jones said a friend of Johnson’s told sheriff’s deputies he had been drinking heavily prior to the incident.
“Alcohol was a factor,” Jones said.
The sheriff’s department was assisted in its investigation by the Ranson Police Department, along with Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services, the county’s medical examiner and a Norfolk Southern Railway police special agent.