Person struck, killed by train in Mebane identified

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MEBANE, N.C -- Police are investigating a fatal train crash that killed a 65-year-old man Wednesday afternoon.

Charlie Johnson, known to neighbors as “Cheeda,” was trying to cross the railroad tracks near South First Street and U.S. 70 when he was hit and killed by an Amtrak train at about 2:15 p.m.

There were 58 passengers on the train at the time of the crash. No one onboard was injured.

The crash shut down the railroad for about three hours and sent shockwaves throughout the neighborhood.

Many who knew Johnson gathered around the railroad tracks to mourn.

“He loved life,” said neighbor Crystal Elmare. “He stayed outside all the time.”

Mebane police say this is the second fatal train crash in the city since December.

Johnson walked with a cane and moved around slowly, according to neighbors.

“He can’t hear real good, so if they honked the horn and he was looking somewhere else, he can’t move fast either and that’s pretty much how it probably happened,” Elmare said.

Neighbors say Johnson lost his mother a few days ago but was coping well with her death.

Police say they are still investigating the accident.