A northbound train on the Louisville & Indiana Railroad line was stopped Wednesday morning in Seymour — causing delays for motorists — after a man riding it illegally was hurt and jumped off of it south of the city.
Thomas Eldon White Jr., 24, of Perryville, Missouri, was injured when his foot was crushed between two of the last train cars, according to a report from Jackson County Sheriff Mike Carothers.
Thomas, who is deaf, told police because of the intense pain from his injuries, he jumped from the train and called 911, telling dispatchers he had fallen off of the train and was bleeding badly from his foot, police said.
Railroad officials were contacted and called the engineer to stop the train, which had reached Seymour by that time, police said.
At that time, the train blocked all but two crossings of 14 rail crossings in the area — one on Redding Road on the north side of the city and the other on South O’Brien Street on the south side.
County Officer Brad Barker responded to the area of the call and found Thomas alert and conscious on the east side of the tracks about three-tenths of a mile south of the rail crossing at County Road 50N. That’s about 4 miles south of Seymour.
Barker and Indiana State Police Trooper Seth Davidson attempted to carry Thomas to the nearby rail crossing but stopped because of his pain. Medical personnel with Jackson County Emergency Medical Services and firefighters then arrived and used a Stokes basket to carry Thomas to an ambulance.
He was then taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour for additional treatment. Initial plans had been to fly him to a regional hospital for his injuries, but bad weather at the time prevented that from occurring, police said.
Thomas told police he had boarded the train in Louisville and was attempting to ride it to Indianapolis at the time of the incident.
The incident, reported at 5:25 a.m. Wednesday, is being investigated by railroad investigators.
At about 7:30 a.m., investigators allowed the train to move north of Tipton Street, opening up four additional crossings on the south side of the city besides O’Brien Street. Those crossings are located at Laurel, Brown, South and Bruce streets.
All crossings north of Tipton Street remained closed until investigators completed their work, police said.
Barker said initial attempts to locate Thomas were hindered because of his deafness, making communications with dispatchers extremely difficult. His initial call to 911 was received by Scott County dispatchers, but police were able to track the phone to Jackson County as the train moved north.
Officers with the Seymour Police Department searched the train to see if anyone else was riding it. Others assisting with the investigation include county Detective Bob Lucas and firefighters from Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department.