ID sought for body in Ward train fatality

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The mystery of the identity of the man struck and killed by a train March 13 may soon be resolved, Ward Chief of Police Steve Benton said Tuesday. But mystery still shrouds the reasons the man was on the tracks and why he did not move out of the way when the train horn was sounded.

Benton said information collected in the investigation since the man’s death could lead to an identification. “We are still waiting for the results of the DNA testing from the [state] Crime Lab,” he said.

According to the police report, the man was struck shortly before 12:30 a.m., March 13, near the Peyton Street/Arkansas Highway 319 railroad crossing.

Ward police officer Julia Graves responded to the call, followed shortly by Benton and Investigator Rushy Brimer. Sheriff John Staley, Lt. James Kulesa and Capt. Kevin McCoy responded to assist.

The man’s body was north of the crossing on the west-side track.

Based on information from the train engineer, the man was walking north on the track. The engineer sounded the horn, but he only raised his arms as to cover his ears and remained on the track.

The engineer applied the brakes, but the man was struck and killed.

There was no identification found on the body. The man is described as white male, aged in the 20s, and was wearing dark blue tennis shoes, a black, hooded sports type jacket with white stripes on the sleeves, and blue denim pants.

The man had short hair, a short goatee, and had a black rubber type bracelet with the word “New Moon.”

There were no tattoos or other distinguishing marks or scars noted by investigators.

Benton said the call remains for information on the man. Anyone with information on the identity of the man is asked to contact the Ward Police Department, 405 Hickory St., Ward, 501-843-6351 or 501-843-2340.

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