NTSB won’t investigate train fatality

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The National Transportation Safety Board will not investigate Thursday’s train accident that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old Tupelo teen.
A spokesperson for the NTSB said the entity normally investigates if another vehicle or train is involved but not a single-pedestrian accident like Thursday’s.
Ron Woods, 16, of Tupelo, was killed Thursday shortly after noon after being hit by a BNSF train between the Jefferson and Blair streets crossings.
Tupelo Police investigators said they do not suspect any foul play or crime. Lt. Jerry Davis said police do not know why Woods was not in school Thursday.
Woods’ Facebook profile picture shows the teen walking down the center of railroad tracks – a section of track that looks similar to the section where he was killed.
Joe Faust, public affairs director for BNSF, said he received a report from the train’s engineer that Woods was walking away from the train wearing a hoodie.
Police on the scene found an mp3 player and earbuds on Woods’ body and believe he was listening to music when he was hit.
Tupelo Public School District spokeswoman Kay Bishop said counselors were available Friday to assist grieving staff and students.
“The Tupelo Public School District family is deeply saddened by the death of one of our students,” Bishop said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this difficult time.”
jb.clark@journalinc.com