SHADELAND, Ind. (WLFI) — The man hit and killed by a train in Tippecanoe County has been identified as 42-year-old Joshua N. Cook of Lafayette.
That's according to Tippecanoe County Coroner Donna Avolt.
The Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office said Cook was hit and killed Sunday night on train tracks in Shadeland.
Avolt said the preliminary autopsy report shows he died from blunt force trauma.
Lt. Brian Lowe said around 10:40 p.m., deputies responded to the tracks in the 3200 block of Henry Street. That's near the intersection of State Road 25 and County Road South 250 West. Lowe said it appeared Cook "didn't know the train was coming." According to deputies, a preliminary investigation shows he was walking in the middle of the tracks and attempted to leave as the train approached. The area where Cook was hit has a heavy brush on both sides, according to police.
James Rehwinkel lives near the train tracks where Cook died. He was shocked to hear what happened.
"You move out here because it's quiet, and it's a peaceful neighborhood. Everybody knows everybody," said Rehwinkel. "It's sad."
According to a press release from the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Department, it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor and a toxicology screen is pending. Cook did not have any identification on him, and investigators worked with the coroner's office to identify him.
The sheriff's office is working with Norfolk Southern on the investigation.
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