Sandusky police are trying to pin down the identity of a man who was decapitated by a train Monday near Venice Road and Tiffin Avenue.
The man was walking west along the railroad tracks at about 4:30 p.m. when an employee at Norfolk-Southern saw him suddenly disappear. A westbound train pulling upwards of 30 cars of coal quickly ground to a halt.
Sandusky police and firefighters arrived to find the man’s body lying on the tracks, just outside the shadow of the overpass under construction. The body was found about halfway between Venice Road and Tiffin Avenue, in a stretch of tracks bordered by residential backyards on one side and industrial properties on the other.
Police are still trying to determine exactly what happened — whether the man was walking and didn’t hear the train, or perhaps some other set of circumstances. There’s no indication of foul play, as the man had been walking alone, Sandusky police Detective Dana Newell said.
The man was carrying no identification when he died and he had no items that would immediately lead to his identity, Newell said.
He was a white man in his late teens or early 20s, about 6-foot tall with a thin build. He was wearing red sweatpants, bluish-gray Converse sneakers, as well as a black jacket over a gray hoody. He was also wearing a yellow L.A. Lakers knit cap.
Officers were still working late Monday to identify him, either through fingerprints or some other means. A worker from David Koch Funeral Home transported the body from the scene.
Newell said he checked the nearby homeless shelter, but it led to no one.
Police are hoping someone may recognize a description of the man’s tattoos, particularly a distinctive marking on his right chest: the words “Blood Brothers,” written in cursive black ink, next to two indecipherable initials. On his left side the man also had a tattoo of some type of symbol, in black ink, as well as a tattooed outline of a cross on his upper left arm.
Anyone with information can call Sandusky police at 419-627-5863.
Norfolk-Southern employees at the scene deferred comments to their corporate officer, where spokesman David Pidgeon would only confirm the incident did happen on a Norfolk-Southern line.