(WJW) – A Norfolk Southern train conductor has been killed after a train and dump truck collided in Cleveland.
The crash happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning near the rail line that runs through Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works property.
The death of the employee was confirmed to FOX 8 by a Norfolk Southern spokesperson.
In a press release the company said, “At this time, officials are reporting that the conductor was struck by a dump truck as a Norfolk Southern train was moving through a crossing at the facility.”
According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, the victim has been identified as 46-year-old Louis Shuster of Broadview Heights.
Shuster was the union president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 607. Representatives also say that he was a father and Army veteran.
“Lou was a passionate and dedicated union brother,” said Pat Redmond, Local Chairman of BLET Division 607. “He was always there for his coworkers. He was very active in helping veterans who worked on the railroad and veterans all across our community.”
Shuster’s next-door neighbor, Christopher Spilka, said that Louis was a good man.
“He was a Family man. Helped out my dad. He helped out his parents cut the grass next door,” shared Shuster.
Cleveland Police say Shuster was positioned outside of the train car when a dump truck pulled into the train’s path and hit the train’s front car. Shuster was struck in the collision and pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say the driver of the dump truck, owned by TMS International, was carrying a full load of limestone and had stopped at a stop sign just before hitting the train.
TMS International tells FOX 8 the company is fully cooperating with authorities.
“Norfolk Southern has been in touch with the conductor’s family and will do all it can to support them and his colleagues. We are grieving the loss of a colleague today. Our hearts go out to his loved ones during this extremely difficult time,” said the company in their statement.
Norfolk Southern has come under criticism after one of their trains derailed in East Palestine on February 3 causing a massive fire. Twenty of the cars were listed as carrying hazardous materials and about 50 cars were affected.
Since then, FOX 8 has learned that five Norfolk Southern trains have derailed within Ohio’s borders in recent months, causing a rising concern in communities across the state.
This latest crash comes just one day after Norfolk Southern announced a plan to immediately enhance its safety features. The company’s six-point plan can be read, here.
The company said Tuesday morning, they are “working to learn everything possible about the incident. Further, the company has been in contact with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, SMART-TD union leadership, and Cleveland-Cliffs leadership.”