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Jeannette man hit by train, killed on way home

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Monday, Aug. 4, 2008

The small statue of a boy holding a Mother's Day card is the last gift Eva Johnson Loughner will receive from her son, James Scott Loughner.

"Scott wasn't a 'gifty' kind of person. Sometimes he'd get cards and give hugs, but buying gifts just wasn't him," Eva Loughner of Jeannette said Sunday.

But with his mother in the hospital for foot surgery and rehabilitation during this past Mother's Day, however, Scott Loughner went the extra mile.

"That was a marvelous gift. I'll always have that, even though I don't have him," Eva Loughner said.

Loughner, 32, of Gaskill Avenue, Jeannette, was hit and killed by a Norfolk Southern train early Saturday morning just three blocks from his home.

The train was traveling east on the Pittsburgh Line, Track No. 1, under the Seventh Street Bridge at about 3:40 a.m. when Loughner was hit.

Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner F. Christopher O'Leath pronounced Loughner dead at the scene at 5:42 a.m. Multiple blunt-force trauma was listed as the cause of death, which has been preliminarily ruled accidental.

Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates performed the autopsy. Toxicology results will not be available for several weeks. Jeannette police and the Norfolk Southern Railroad police are investigating the accident and could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"He used to always walk home that way at night after being out to avoid going up and down the hills. It was a straight shot," said Scott's brother John Loughner, of Jeannette.

Scott Loughner was a graduate of Norwin High School and was employed with his brother, J.J. Loughner of Madison, at Approved Fire Protection Co. Inc. of Greensburg in Hempfield.

Standing in front of her Magee Avenue home near the accident scene, Barbie Logesky said the stretch of track near her home is dangerous for pedestrians.

"There have been about 4 deaths there in the 9 years I've lived here along that stretch," Logesky said.

A Norfolk Southern sign prohibiting trespassing is visibly posted on a utility pole near where the tracks go under the bridge.

Eva Loughner plans to give Scott's 7-year-old daughter, Holly Nicole Loughner of Irwin, her father's high school ring as a memento.

"She loved her daddy a lot. When she's old enough, she'll know how much he loved her," Eva Loughner said.

In addition to his mother and father, William Loughner, daughter and two brothers, Loughner is survived by two sisters, Shantell Frady of Charlotte, and Christina Loughner of Colombia, S.C.; and a maternal grandmother, Nellie Johnson of Fairmont, W.Va.

Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Joseph F. Ott Funeral Home Inc., 504 Oak St., Irwin. A funeral service will be Thursday in the funeral home chapel at a time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Loughner family.

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