The Thursday morning death of an 81-year-old hit by a westbound freight train between Teutopolis and Montrose appears to be nothing more than an “unfortunate accident,” Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffey said.
Guffey said Thomas Miller, 81, had been attempting to cross the CSX tracks on a four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle at a crossing near his home on U.S. 40 when he was struck at about 11:22 a.m. Guffey said passing motorists on the highway told him the collision didn’t appear to be anything but an accident.
Miller, a longtime area farmer, had been trying to cross the tracks in an effort to check crops on his land south of the tracks, Guffey said.
Miller was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 11:30 a.m. Guffey said it had not been determined how fast the train was moving at the time of impact.
Miller lived about halfway between Teutopolis and Montrose off U.S. 40.
Guffey declined to discuss other details of the collision pending further investigation.