"God be with her,” said Victor Carr, who identified himself as the victim’s ex-husband. “I know she's in a good place. Heaven is where she'll be."
Only a few short hours after the accident, friends and family gathered to remember her.
"She’s a very kind and gentle person, very sweet. She'll give the shirt of her back to you," said Carr, who spoke of the victim as if she was still alive.
According to the Ranson Police Department, who is leading the investigation, a train hit a homeless woman around
"The train was headed westbound. She was walking in the same direction with her back towards the train. The conductor tried to alert her by blowing the horn," said Patrolman Kendal Hudson.
"She heard it. She turned and looked back, and she was trying to get off the track,” said Carr. “But it was too late. She didn't have time to get off."
The incident happened near
"We were on the west side of the track for about 15 to 20 minutes before anybody showed up," said Ray Burcker, an employee of Kable Excavator.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and their Reserves Department, Jefferson County Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Charles Town Police Department and investigators with the Norfolk Southern Railway, the company responsible for the train, assisted the Ranson Police Department in the investigation.
"The conductor contacted emergency personnel saying they may of struck a person, and we were out here pretty quick," said
The victim's body was transported by
"The body was found down off the rock bed, next to the railroad tracks," said Burcker, who was one of the first witnesses on the scene.
Friends and family at the scene said the victim suffered from seizures and short term memory loss, which may have contributed to her slow reaction time. However, investigators were not able to confirm that information without the results of a formal autopsy.
"That's what I think probably happened, because it's not like her to be traveling on the tracks," said Carr.
We'll keep you updates as more information becomes available.