MELBOURNE, Fla. – A northbound train fatally struck a pedestrian Friday morning in downtown Melbourne, snarling traffic for about two hours from Palmetto Avenue southward to just shy of Jernigan Avenue.
The incident was reported at 6:55 a.m. The unidentified pedestrian’s body was later recovered on the tracks just south of New Haven Avenue.
"I heard the train blast -- a lot. Normally, you don’t hear that this time of morning," Osman Castro, an electrician who lives in the nearby Orange Court Apartments, told News 6 partner Florida Today. "I looked outside, and I see traffic is building up. I had to go run an errand, so then I start to see the police crime scene tape and the police all over the place. It’s unfortunate. This happens a lot here. Way too much."
Melbourne police cruisers blocked U.S.1 traffic from heading west on Strawbridge and New Haven avenues while detectives investigated the scene. Police and Florida's East Coast Railway personnel congregated in the Depot Drive public parking area, on the east side of the railroad tracks.
Police at the scene did not provide details about the fatal collision.
The train started rolling north again at 8:50 a.m.
Bruce Terry, who has lived nearby on Melbourne Avenue since 1987, walked over to see what was happening after hearing the train engineer lay on his horn.
"I heard the blast. It's the longest I've ever heard the horn," Terry said.
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