[UPDATE] VSU Student Struck by Train

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

[UPDATE] 2/10/2011 at 6:07 p.m. --

On August 13, police say 19-year-old James Elkins was struck by a train in the middle of the night.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has ruled Elkins' death an accident, saying no foul play is suspected.

But they say his blood alcohol content was 0.232. More than twice the legal limit.

Remerton Police say the case is still open, as they help bring closure to the Elkins' family.

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A local college student is hit by a freight train and dies. Police say he was between the tracks around 2 a.m. Friday, when it happened.

VSU students who live behind the railroad tracks in Remerton, are trying to understand why James Elkins, 19, would lay by the tracks in the middle of the night.

"I don't understand what would make someone want to do that," said Robbie Hope, a junior at VSU. "If he was drunk or if he just decided he wanted to - I - that's completely unexplained."

Elkins was likely laying down, based on the trauma he suffered to his head and abdomen, according to Remerton Police Chief Mike Terrell.

He was pronounced dead just after 4 a.m. Friday.

Elkins, whom friends called "Jake," is from Cairo.

He had just started his third semester at VSU.

"We're still young," said Hope. "We still have our whole lives ahead of us. And then just to have it cut that short from something that--just is--tragic. It's horrible"

Neighbors along Wayland Drive, where Elkins lived, are stunned.

They're trying to make sense of this tragedy.

"When something happens like that with somebody, an accident, it's sad," said Colin Easterbrook, a student at VSU. "You step back and it's like 'Wow'. You don't really know how to react or how to take it at all."

Elkins' body was transported to a lab in Macon for an autopsy.


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