A CSX train claimed the life of a Shiloh man Tuesday evening just west of Greenwich.
Authorities say Daniel B. Wireman, of the 8500 block of Shiloh Norwalk Road, was walking on the tracks when the train hit him from behind. His death has been ruled a suicide.
Huron County coroner JeffHarwood said the 21-year-old had a history of depression and expressed suicidal thoughts leading up to his death.
"The last several weeks he had been having suicidal-type thoughts and making suicidal messages," Harwood said.
Family members dispute this assertion, claiming Wireman was on his way to meet his girlfriend.
"No, I do not think (it wassuicide). It was an accident," said his mother, Dora Snipes. "These days, who isn't depressed?"
At about 6 p.m., Wireman was walking east along the side of the southern train tracks. Harwood said he was on the tracks north of U.S. 224 and east of New State Road.
CSX train operators spotted Wireman and tried to warn him, but the loud scream of the horn did not grab his attention, said Huron County Sheriff's Capt. Ted Patrick.
"The subject was walking away from the train with his back to him, and they sounded the horn and sounded a bell, but the subject didn't move," Patrick said.
The engine of the train clipped Wireman, hurling him 30 to 50 feet into the southern tree line, authorities said.
The train screeched to a stop further down the line and train officials contacted authorities.
Patrick said because Wireman was flung down the embankment, authorities had to search for him in the brush along the tracks. Emergency responders eventually found Wireman still breathing.
A medical helicopter flew to the scene, but Wireman didn't pull through. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:07 p.m. from blunt injuries.
Alcohol was not a suspected factor in the incident.
Harwood is ruling the death a suicide, but Wireman's mother said the facts don't support this determination.
"His girlfriend was on her way to pick him up and she said, 'I'll be waiting on Edwards Road,'" Snipes said.
Snipes said Wireman was headed to Edwards Road from the Greenwich home of a family friend. She said the details of her son's death do not convince her it was suicide.
"No one was there," Snipes said. "They didn't see it happen. What happened was between Daniel and God."
Wireman was described as a quiet and shy boy who knew his way around an automobile.