Since so many people on various message boards were wondering, as we were, how it could have happened, this might offer a clue.
Not quite two months later, a train was derailed about 15 miles east of here. Same railroad. According to reports in local newspapers, two trains were passing each other when the load on one of them shifted far enough to hit the other train, with enough force to knock it off the tracks. Makes you wonder....
And then there's the story an acquaintance of mine tells - a few years ago, he was sitting at a crossing (same railroad, a few blocks east) on his backhoe, waiting for a train to pass. A strap flying loose from a flatbed loaded with large wooden posts took the exhaust pipe off the top of the backhoe. He was very glad it wasn't flopping around a few feet lower. Another "makes you wonder...."
Unfortunately, we'll never know for sure, because the railroad didn't bother to inspect any of the three trains that passed between the time he called a friend and the time he was found. They did talk to the crews on all three. The people on the first saw nothing. (So much for the local "detective" who still insists he must have been standing on the tracks in front of the train.) Those on the second saw what they thought was a large dog, so they didn't bother to stop. The third did stop and they called the police.
At the very least, it sounds like the railroad needs to review the way they load things, or else enforce whatever rules they already have, before someone else gets hurt.
Leo1: You cant just wander around Gary going into old buildings! Theres plenty of crackheads that will bust you in the mouth for that camera, then run a train your ladyfriends. Me: I like Gary, I think its nice, aside from the lack of eats on a Sunday afternoon. Leo2: Yeah, its really nice...until we find three dead strangers in an...abandoned...thing.