Man walking on tracks hit by train, dies

Police say he was listening to music, didn't hear horn

News Sentinel staff

LOUDON - A 28-year-old Loudon County man walking on train tracks listening to music with headphones apparently didn't hear the train that came up from behind and killed him, police said Friday.

Steven Fulk, of Davis Ferry Road, died in the 5 p.m. Thursday incident, said Loudon police officer Bill Shirk.

Shirk said Fulk was walking westbound between the rails when a westbound train approached near the State Route 72 overpass. Fulk's back was to the approaching train.

The train operator repeatedly blew a horn to warn the man, but Fulk did not respond, Shirk said. Investigation by the Loudon Police Department, Shirk said, determined that Fulk was listening to an iPod with headphones "and apparently never heard or saw the train."

The train was powered by two locomotives and was pulling 108 rail cars of mixed freight, said Susan Terpay, spokeswoman with Norfolk Southern.

The victim's stepfather, Allen Scott, said Fulk lived in Indiana but had been staying in Loudon with his parents the past few months and had just taken a job at Food City.

He is survived by an 8-year-old daughter, Raven Fulk, who lives in Indiana.

"He was a big walker," Scott said. "We live about four miles from town, and some days he would just ... walk to town, hang out some, and then walk back."

Thursday was Fulk's payday, and he'd walked downtown to eat and had then apparently decided to visit his mother, Verna Scott, at her workplace at a retail store in Loudon when he was hit by the train, Scott said.

"It was like a shortcut," he said. "It was nothing out of the ordinary."

Scott said Fulk enjoyed listening to rap music on his iPod. Fulk's interests included working out, playing video games and watching movies, Scott said.

"He was just a normal, everyday guy," he said.