Randolph Raihl struck, killed by train in Sinking Spring, coroner says

Victim tried to beat train by running across the tracks, officials say

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Published: Nov 14 2012 07:14:50 AM EST   Updated On: Nov 14 2012 07:30:28 PM EST
Randolph Raihl
SINKING SPRING, Pa. -

A freight train struck and killed a man in Berks County early Wednesday morning.

Randolph Raihl was walking on South Hull Street in Sinking Spring around 6:50 a.m. Wednesday when officials said he tried to beat the approaching train by running across the tracks, but he didn't make it. The 23-year-old borough man died at the scene.

"I heard a siren. I looked out the window and saw the train stopped," said Ann Fleischman, who lives next to the tracks.

The 40-car Norfolk Southern train was on its way from Chicago to northern New Jersey when the accident happened, said David Pidgeon, a spokesman for the railroad.

All three crossings in the borough were blocked until about 10:30 a.m. when the train was allowed to continue on to its destination.

"It didn't dawn on me that I didn't hear it in the morning because it was stopped," said Mike Chua, who lives near the scene of the deadly accident.

Residents of the borough said the South Hull Street crossing has been the scene of several deaths before.

"This happens a lot. You get scared knowing someone is up there getting killed," said Fleischman.

"It's a very tough intersection. A lot of trains come through and fly at a very high speed," said Adam Bucher, who lives in Sinking Spring.

Police said the investigation is ongoing. They plan to look over video recorded from the train's cameras.

Raihl left behind two young daughters.