Train strikes, kills woman in wheelchair

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KENLY — Police say a 40-year-old woman died early Friday after a CSX freight train struck her motorized wheelchair, which had become stuck as she attempted to cross the railroad tracks.

Police did not release the victim’s name Friday, but she has been identified as Kristy L. Pilkington. Funeral arrangements are pending at Howell Funeral Home and Crematory in Goldsboro.

Kenly police Detective. R. Biggs said Sgt. Tedder of the department responded to 150 E. Second St. at 12:37 a.m. where officers attempted to locate a pedestrian who had possibly been struck by a train.

The deceased victim was found in a ditch on the east side of the railroad tracks between First and Second streets.

According to a Friday news release, the victim had been paralyzed from the waist down as a result of an accident several years ago and had used a motorized wheelchair as a means of moving around the community.

“After gathering statements from the train conductor and engineer, we were able to conclude that the victim attempted to cross the railroad tracks at the crossing located on First Street at Railroad Street and Corbett Avenue,” Biggs wrote in the release. “The victim was unable to travel across completely due to the wheels on the chair becoming lodged in the tracks or battery failure.”

The woman was thrown about 95 feet north of the crossing and landed in a ditch on the east side of the tracks, police said.

Police said a complete police report from the incident will be available on Monday.