A 32-year-old Woodbridge man was killed early yesterday when he was struck by an Amtrak train and thrown from a narrow railroad trestle that spans the Occoquan River, Prince William County officials said.
Harvey Gray was apparently on a fishing trip with three companions when the northbound autotrain approached shortly before 8 a.m. Gray crouched on the trestle, his back to the train, but was hit by the plow mounted on the lead engine, officials said.
"He knew it was coming; he was just in a position where he couldn't do anything," said Cpl. Tim Rudy of the Prince William County Police Department, adding that the trestle has no pedestrian walkway.
The impact knocked Gray over the trestle edge, where he fell onto unused telegraph lines suspended 30-feet above the ground, officials said. Rescue workers said they used a fire truck ladder to free Gray but pronounced him dead at the scene.
Gray's fishing companions avoided the train by jumping to a parallel set of tracks. One was 27-year-old Melvin Buckmaster, reared in the same household as Gray but not related to him, police said. Buckmaster appeared overcome by Gray's death and was taken to Potomac Hospital, where he was treated and released, police said.
Yesterday's fatality occurred near the Rte. 1 bridge that crosses the river at the border of Fairfax and Prince William counties. The train, en route from Sanford, Fla., to Lorton, carried 447 passengers, said Amtrak spokesman Clifford Black. It was delayed 85 minutes at the scene. Cpl. Rudy said the railroad bridge is posted with "Do Not Enter" and "No Trespassing" signs.