Man looking for ‘ghost train’ hit, killed by real train

Trestle where incident happened early Friday
Trestle where incident happened early Friday
Photo of original train wreck in 1891. Photo Source: Iredell County heritage books
Photo of original train wreck in 1891. Photo Source: Iredell County heritage books

By Jeff Rivenbark - email

STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - A man who was with about a dozen people who were looking for a legendary "ghost train" in Iredell County was hit by a locomotive and killed early Friday morning.

The incident happened on a train trestle at 2:45 a.m. near the 900 block of Buffalo Shoals Road.

Robin Chapman, a spokesperson for Norfolk-Southern Railroad, said the eastbound train consisted of three locomotives and no freight cars.

The train was rounding a curve and approaching a trestle over Boston Creek just prior to Buffalo Shoals Road when it struck a man on the trestle, Chapman said.

Christopher Kaiser, 29, died at the scene and two more people were injured, according to Iredell County Sheriff Phillip Redmond.  Kaiser's body was found below the trestle down a steep incline, he said.

The injured patients were airlifted to a local hospital.  Their condition was not immediately known.

"During the investigation, witnesses told deputies they were at the site in hopes of seeing a 'ghost train'," the Iredell County sheriff's office said in a press release.

The sheriff said the incident coincided with the anniversary of a train wreck that occurred at the same location in 1891. (Read a story about the original wreck)

Redmond said there were "12 people who were amateur ghost hunters caught on the trestle when the train rounded the bend" early Friday morning.

The train operators tried to stop the locomotives and warn the people on the trestle, Redmond said.

Most of the people on the trestle started running east and away from the train.

All of the victims were able to clear the trestle except for the fatal victim who was struck by a locomotive.

"All indications at this point are this is an accident," Redmond said.

The sheriff's office plans to talk with other witnesses to the accident who left the scene before deputies arrived.

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