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11566Man lying on tracks unscathed by train

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  • Dicarlo, Gino
    Dec 4, 2005
      Man lying on tracks unscathed by train
      FRANK JULIANO fjuliano@...

      MILFORD CONN. - Barely 12 hours after an apparent suicide on the train
      tracks in Bethel, a man lying between the rails at the downtown station
      here appeared to be unharmed Friday morning when an Amtrak train passed
      over him.
      Police and railroad officials said the New York-bound train's engineer
      saw a man with shoulder-length blond hair jump from the southbound
      platform at 8:30 a.m. and lie down between the rails of the track
      directly below.

      The engineer could not stop the train before it reached that section of
      the track, Metro-North Railroad spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said.

      "The train did pass over this person, but when the crew got out to
      search, they could find no remains, no person," she said. "It seems
      likely that this person just got up and ran away."

      Police also searched the area around the station, but could not find a
      man fitting that description, Officer Vaughan Dumas, department
      spokesman, said.

      "There were people on the platform at the time, but no one saw him
      leaving the area," he said.

      Firefighters also searched for the man without success, Fire Capt.
      Harold Streit said.

      Trains coming through Milford were delayed about 20 minutes while the
      incident was investigated, Anders said.

      In the Bethel incident, a man was killed at about 8 p.m. Thursday, when
      he put his head on the track near the Metro-North station, and the
      engineer could not stop in time, according to Dan Brucker, Metro-North

      The man was identified by Metropolitan Transportation Authority police
      as Peter Howland, 38, of Bethel.
      Howland's was the ninth death this year on Metro-North Railroad tracks.
      The most recent was Nov. 9 in Seymour, when Lisa Koval, 44, was struck
      as she stood in the path of a train bound for Waterbury.

      "We seem to be having a spate of these," Anders said. "It seems to be
      the time of year. The holidays are not happy for everybody."

      A special worship service will be held to help people who are struggling
      through this time of year, two local ministers said Friday.

      The "Longest Night" service, which was already planned, will be at 7:30
      p.m. Dec. 18 in the Woodmont United Church of Christ. The service is
      co-sponsored by the Woodmont church and the First United Church of

      "The constant refrain on radio and television, in shopping malls and
      churches about the happiness of the season, about getting together with
      family and friends, reminds many people of what they lost or may never
      have had," the Rev. Paige Besse-Rankin and the Rev. Adam Eckhart said in
      a joint statement.

      Frank Juliano, Milford bureau chief, can be reached at 878-2130.