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A fatal collision Wednesday night left papers bearing the names of Harold Haire’s friends and family scattered across railroad tracks near Cox Lane in Elizabethtown.
It was through those papers that Hardin County Coroner Dr. Bill Lee said he was able to identify the Elizabethtown man’s next of kin.
Haire, 53, was struck by a CSX train after 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to officials. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sgt. Tim Cleary said CSX Transportation contacted Elizabethtown Police Department at 11:16 p.m. in reference to a collision involving a pedestrian who was standing on the railroad tracks.
The News-Enterprise contacted CSX, but the corporation’s media department did not return phone calls.
In addition to the coroner and police, seven firefighters responded to recover the body, Elizabethtown Fire Chief Mike Hulsey said.
On Thursday, Lee said preliminary autopsy results indicate the cause of death as massive trauma. A full report is pending toxicology results, which he said will not be complete for several weeks.
Lee and Cleary confirmed the death appears to be accidental. The EPD sergeant said it is unclear at this point why Haire was on the tracks.
According to the coroner, Haire’s survivors include a wife and daughter.
Although investigators found an Elizabethtown address listed in Haire’s name, Cleary said he did not appear to be living at that residence. Other county records indicate Haire once had a residence in Bowling Green.
Cleary confirmed emergency officials found some of Haire’s belongings in the area surrounding the collision near Cox Lane, which turns off North Main Street and ends about 50 yards from the railroad tracks.
As of Thursday afternoon, officials said they had not located a permanent residence where Haire lived.
“It seems like a lot of folks didn’t know a lot about his whereabouts,” Lee said.
Elizabethtown Police Department is investigating.
Between 2008 and 2012, 71 people in Kentucky died in railroad-related incidents, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
According to Hulsey and Lee, this is not the first time in recent years such an incident occurred in the Hardin County area. In September 2009, an Upton woman was killed after stepping into the path of an oncoming train, Lee recalled.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or email@example.com.