Polk Man Critically Injured After Being Hit By Train
Around 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 45-year-old Sheldon Sharpe of 326 Colorado Avenue #7 in Lakeland, was seen by CSX personnel walking and approaching the tracks located at Eastside Drive south of US Hwy 92 in Lakeland, while the CSX train was in motion going eastbound at approximately 8 MPH. The locomotive portion of the train was pushing the caboose, which has compartments that stick out of each side approximately two feet.
According to the witnesses (CSX train conductor and train engineer), Sharpe appeared as if he was going to cross over the tracks, around the intersection gates that were down. The conductor blew the train horn but it appears as if Sharpe was struck by some portion of the train, possibly the caboose at the front. Once the train passed the area where Sharpe was last seen, the witnesses observed him laying on the ground with multiple injuries. They stopped the train and called 9-1-1. Sharpe was transported to LRHMC, where he underwent surgery. He is currently in critical but stable condition.
An MP3 player with a damaged earbud wire attached to it was located near Sharpe after the incident. An interview with Sharpe’s fiancee indicates that at the time of the incident, Sharpe was walking to the store, and he frequently walks with earbuds in his ears, listening to music. The investigation is ongoing. No charges are pending. Eastside Drive was closed for approximately 3 hours.