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Coroner identifies New Derry man in train fatality

| Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 9:46 p.m.
Firefighters set up a roadblock on Hickory Street to secure the scene of an incident involving a person who died after being struck by a freight train Thursday evening, January 24, 2013, in Derry Township. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review

The Westmoreland County Coroner has identified a 39-year-old man who was struck and killed by a train Thursday in Derry Township.

Donald B. McCreery of Pittsburgh Street, New Derry, committed suicide when he was struck by a freight train at 5:58 p.m., Deputy Coroner Joshua Zappone reported.

Witnesses told authorities that they saw McCreery deliberately standing on the Norfolk Southern track as the train approached.

Merlin Funeral Home in Derry is in charge of arrangements.

David Pidgeon, Norfolk Southern spokesman, said the crew sounded a horn before the person was struck. Pidgeon said two locomotives were transporting 124 empty cars when the victim was struck.

“The crew blew the horn,” Pidgeon said, adding that he could not confirm the victim's identity, or the circumstances surrounding the death.

Pidgeon said the incident occurred in the vicinity of Valley Street. Fire personnel from Derry and Bradenville cordoned off the road about a half mile in each direction off Hickory Avenue.

Pidgeon said two adjacent rail lines run along the route. One line was closed to train traffic for several hours, but both lines were expected to reopen by 9 p.m., he said.

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