8-Year-Old Boy Escapes Oncoming Train by Dropping Between Rails on Bridge — But Girl and Man He Was Fishing with Are Struck and Killed

CHILHOWIE, Va. (TheBlaze/AP) — A man and a girl were killed after they were hit by a train while fishing from a bridge in southwestern Virginia, according to a railroad spokesman. A boy who was with them survived by dropping between the rails.

Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman said the train was traveling around 2 p.m. Sunday near Chilhowie, which is about 170 miles southwest of Lynchburg and a half hour from the Tennessee border.

The train crew applied emergency brakes when they saw the group, Chapman said, and the boy dropped between the rails, which are about 25 to 30 feet high.

The man and girl, however, stood to the side — but there wasn’t enough clearance and both were hit by the passing train, according to WJHL-TV in Johnson City, Tennessee.

The boy was initially reported missing but showed up at his grandparents’ house several hours later, WJHL reported. He was taken to a hospital but didn’t have any signs of injuries.

The boy is 8 years old, reported WCYB-TV in Bristol, Virginia; the girl was 7 and the man was 52.

The bridge is about 200 feet long. The Smyth County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.