55-year-old man struck, killed by Amtrak train in Suffolk


SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 55-year-old man is dead after being hit by an Amtrak train Friday night.

Suffolk Police say Kerry L. Hawkins, of Suffolk, was dead when they arrived at the railroad crossing in the 300 block of East Washington Street, on the side where Hall Avenue and East Washington Street meet.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” a woman who identified herself as Hawkins’ sister told a 10 On Your Side reporter. “He was always going over these train tracks.”

Hawkins was a landscaper, according to the woman, and lived in Suffolk his entire life.

The emergency call came in around 6:30 p.m., officials said in a news release.

The Northeast Regional Amtrak train was headed for Norfolk when “it came into contact with a person who was on the track,” Kimberly Woods, an Amtrak spokeswoman, said in an email. At the time, 135 passengers were on the train.

There were no reported injuries to customers or crew members.

A witness, who would identify himself only as “LeRoy,” said he saw Hawkins on a bike trying to get across the crossing before the train came through. LeRoy said he felt Hawkins looked like he was “struggling.”

“He was trying to cross and got hit by the train but his body flew … like flew,” LeRoy said. “I ran to help, but he was gone.”

The roadway and the rail crossing at Liberty Street and Moore Avenue were closed for several hours Friday night as Suffolk detectives documented the area. The eight-car Amtrak train also remained stopped just east of where Hawkins was struck.

While Woods said passengers are supposed to remain on board during “a suspension in service” for “safety,” but several passengers were able to disembark and found other transportation home.

Around 10 p.m., the train resumed service and headed back to Norfolk.

The incident remains under investigation by Suffolk officials as well as Amtrak.

This story is breaking and will be updated as information becomes available.

Tune in to WAVY News 10 for more coverage and stay up-to-date through the WAVY News App and on WAVY.com.

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