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Man riding on top of train calls 911 to avoid freezing

The man, who authorities believe may be homeless, was transported to a medical facility

By Justin Dennis
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA, Ohio — The bitter Thursday morning temperature forced a New York man to cut his free ride atop a CSX train car short when passing through the county, officials said.

The man, identified by county authorities as Brandon Campbell, 22, reportedly hopped on top of a westbound CSX train that left from Buffalo, New York, according to CSX spokesperson Gail Lobin.

Upon entering Ashtabula County, however, the man called 911 to report he was freezing to death atop the car. The train was eventually stopped near the line’s Cook Road intersection in Ashtabula, and Campbell was transported to Ashtabula County Medical Center.

CSX received notification just before 11 a.m. Thursday, and a rail company agent assumed the investigation, Lobin said.

Lobin said it’s unclear if the man actually boarded the train in Buffalo, but estimated the straight travel time to Ashtabula County at two hours. Thursday’s recorded high in the city was 24 degrees, according to Accuweather.

County authorities, who were briefed on the situation, believed the man might have been homeless.

“Railroad property is private property and it is extremely dangerous, and illegal, for non-railroad employees to be on or near operating equipment,” Lobin said.

“CSX police continue to investigate the incident, and will determine whether any charges will be filed once the investigation is complete.”

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