Investigation into train fatality continues

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The investigation continues today into the death of an Ironton woman who was struck and killed by a train Sunday morning.

Charlene Ash, 49, was killed by a passing Norfolk Southern train at 3:28 a.m. at the Jefferson Street crossing.

Ironton police chief Jim Carey said toxicology tests are being conducted on blood samples taken from the victim and police are continuing to gather additional information about the final hours of Ash’s life.

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Barry Adkins, the owner of The Fuzzy Duck, contended that while Ash was at his establishment, two employees helped her into a Sureway taxi when she left. He also contended the cab driver did not log the trip or show up for work the day after. Bob Cleary, owner of Sureway Cab Co., has not returned telephone calls.

Carey said a friend of Ash told police officers about a conversation with Ash at 2:30 a.m. Sunday while Ash was at the Fuzzy Duck. At some point, Ash was seen walking along the railroad tracks. At 3:28 a.m., railroad employees notified city police they saw a woman lying on the tracks and they blew their whistle.

Carey said the employees advised it appeared Ash was trying to get up off the tracks but was, for some reason, unable to do so.

This is the fourth railroad-related death in Ironton within the past six years. The body of Pamela Goldcamp was found on the railroad tracks near Mulberry Street early on the morning of March 28, 2002. Her family has contended she was murdered and her body placed on the tracks to cover up the crime.

Then in January 2007, two teenagers, Lacey Parnell and Jamiesue Barker were killed as they walked along railroad tracks near the McPherson Street crossing. Authorities believe the girls did not hear the train.

A third girl did manage to get out of the way of the train and sustained only minor injuries.