Middletown police investigate a person who was found lying on the railroad tracks at University Boulevard and Manchester Avenue Tuesday morning. The Butler County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Police investigating man hit by train in Middletown

A passerby called police about 7:50 a.m. Tuesday about a person on the tracks, said Major David Birk, who added it appears the person was hit by a train sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning.

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The Butler County Coroner’s Office removed the body from the scene and an autopsy is scheduled for today, according to officials. The area was roped off with crime scene tape. Birk said detectives are investigating to determine what happened.

Acting Police Chief Scott Reeve said the person is male and they do believed they know the man’s identify, but the name was not released Tuesday afternoon.

A man called 911 at 7:58 a.m. and told dispatchers there was a person on the tracks near Buster’s bar.

“There is a dead body right here on this train tracks you need to get someone up here,” the caller said. “I am going to say he was hit by train.”

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Reeve said detectives are looking at security cameras from the area to determine what happened, but he noted the area is very dark.

“Hopefully, we will be able to see from the cameras on the train,” Reeve said.

Norfolk Southern Police Department is assisting in the investigation with the Middletown Division of Police.

There have been 41 train accidents in Ohio this year at crossings, which includes three fatalities, according to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. 

PUCO only tracks data on vehicle/train crashes that occur at a crossing.  

One recent fatal at a crossing occurred in July 2015 at the 14th Avenue crossing in Middletown where a van carrying 11 people went through a crossing gate, killing one person and injuring 10 others as they were picking up people to attend an evening vacation bible school at a local church. 

Judith Ashley pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, in January 2017 and was sentenced to 54 months in prison. She was released in June 2018 and placed on probation for five years, according to court records.

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