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Pedestrian struck and killed by train in La Porte

A 30-year-old man was struck by a train Sunday night at the Tipton Street crossing in La Porte, according to the La Porte Police Department.

Police responded to the Tipton Street crossing at approximately 6:40 p.m. Sunday.

When they arrived, they found Michael Cox, who was visibly upset. He said he and Joshua Gearhart crossed the railroad tracks in front of the train, but could not find Gearhart.

Officers searched the area and located Gearhart's body.

According to the investigation, Cox and Gearhart were at Mickey's Tavern that night and they shared two pitchers of beer.

After they left, Cox said he was on the phone with a friend and crossed the tracks in front of the train.

The train conductor and engineer told police they witnessed one man cross the tracks, then another man hesitated, then walked in front of the train.

They told police if he had not hesitated, they thought he would have made it.

The deputy coroner arrived on scene and pronounced Gearhart deceased.

The train had to be inspected by the train master before it could resume normal operations.

The engineer and conductor said the train was traveling 45 mph at the time of the accident. They also said the crossing gates were down and the lights were flashing at the time.

The train had 106 cars and most were empty oil containers.

On Monday, the coroner's office released the results of the autopsy. Gearhart died of blunt force trauma. His BAC was .278.

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