Man fatally struck by train

PORTAGE – A Portage Township man was struck and killed by a locomotive early Wednesday morning, officials said.

Michael Pawvlek, 32, was struck while walking on the train tracks near Jamestown Road shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday, Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski said.

Pawvlek was wearing dark clothing and was walking between the tracks during the early morning snowstorm when he was struck and killed by tandem Norfolk Southern locomotives, Kwiatkowski said.

Kwiatkowski pronounced Pawvlek dead at 3:40 a.m. at the scene from blunt force trauma.

The train operator spotted Pawvlek on the tracks but was unable to stop in time, Kwiatkowski said.

The train crew radioed rail officials in South Fork, who then reported the incident to Cambria 911, Kwiatkowski said.

Norfolk Southern spokesman David Pidgeon said the locomotives were traveling westbound when the incident occurred.

The track speed limit is 40 mph in that particular area, Pidgeon said. Officials did not know the exact speed of the locomotives at the time of the incident, Pidgeon said.

The two locomotives were headed to South Fork and did not have any freight cars attached at the time of the incident, Pidgeon said.

Portage EMS and fire crews, in addition to state police, responded to the scene.

A toxicology report is pending, Kwiatkowski said.

Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.