Staff Photo: Jason Braverman — An officer canvases the scene near where a man was struck by a train on Monday afternoon along Buford Highway in Norcross.
NORCROSS -- The man struck and killed by a train in Norcross Monday has been identified, as authorities continue to sift through what may have happened.
Devonn Graham, 37, of Norcross, was walking on the tracks along Buford Highway near Johnson Road at about 3 p.m. Monday when he was struck, a medical examiner's office representative told the Daily Post Tuesday. Originally described only as either a light-skinned black male or Hispanic male, Graham was spotted by a witness and the train's conductor, who blew the engine's horn and tried to stop.
"He was reported by a witness to be walking down the train tracks, and then kind of crossing back and forth on this double set of train tracks right here," Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. "We don't know right now whether or not he was suicidal, whether or not he intended to be hit by the train or if it was accidental."
The victim was wearing headphones, but investigators have not said if those might have played a role. Graham is believed to have been walking southbound as the train traveled north, a railroad spokeswoman said.
Susan Terpay, director of public relations for Norfolk Southern railroads, said the train traveling from Atlanta to Charleston, S.C., was in a stretch of track where speeds typically reach 60 miles per hour.
"(Graham) was walking southbound beside the tracks on the railroad right-of-way," Terpay said. "A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three-foot mark."
"It is extremely dangerous and against the law to walk beside the tracks, which is trespassing," she added.
Graham was "clearly deceased" by the time Gwinnett County officials arrived at the scene Monday afternoon, Smith said.