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Downey a ‘dedicated’ man

Downey a ‘dedicated’ man
Downey a ‘dedicated’ man
Members of the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept. and others respond to a crash April 23 between a Norfolk Southern Railroad train and a pick-up truck driven by K. Alan Downey of Corydon. Downey died at the scene. Photo by Ross Schulz (click for larger version)

Emergency personnel, government officials, journalists and others filled two passenger rail cars April 12 that traveled the Norfolk Southern Railroad from Shelbyville, Ky., to Huntingburg as part of the first Operation Lifesaver Whistle-Stop Train presentation.
Less than three weeks later, a Corydon man was killed at one of the remote crossings the group passed by during the educational program.
K. Alan Downey, 52, died of blunt force trauma Tuesday, April 23, after the white 2007 Dodge pickup he was driving was struck by a westbound cargo train, according to Harrison County Coroner Rusty Sizemore.
‘He was my friend,’ Sizemore said yesterday (Tuesday). ‘I knew as soon as I saw the truck who it was.’
Downey was a long-time employee of Ramsey Water Co. Inc. A field specialist, he began working for the utility company on Aug. 1, 1981.
Sizemore said Downey, who was headed south on Crosby Road, was wearing a seat belt.
It appears Downey had recently left the water company’s office, which is located along S.R. 64 just east of Crosby Road, a short time before the crash occurred at about 2:15 p.m. He had turned onto Crosby Road across from the North Harrison Community School Corp.’s Ramsey campus.
‘I had just seen him in the office about 15 minutes earlier,’ said another Ramsey Water employee. ‘He had picked up a work order.’
A witness told Indiana State Police Trooper Chris Tucker that Downey failed to yield the right-of-way to the train. There are no lights or bells, only a stop sign, at the Crosby Road crossing. The witness said the train did sound its whistle as it approached the crossing.
There were no reports of injuries to anyone on the train, which was traveling 42 mph.
According to Operation Lifesaver, it takes more than a mile for the average freight train traveling 55 mph to stop. Last year, in Indiana, there were 106 crossing collisions and 17 fatalities.
Downey’s co-worker re-called him as a dedicated employee who gave a lifetime of service.
‘He was a super nice guy, and he would do anything for anybody,’ she said.
Downey was a Boy Scout leader, a Special Olympics volunteer, a member of First Capital Christian Church in Corydon and had won the Buck Mathes look-alike contest at the Harrison County Fair, as well as the wings-eating contest at Cockadoodle Days a few years back.
His funeral was Friday at his church.
Sizemore said a toxicology report should be available in about six weeks. While he doesn’t expect the report to show that drugs or alcohol were involved, certain health issues, if there were any, could be revealed.
Assisting at the scene were personnel from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept., the Norfolk Southern Railroad, Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept., Harrison County Hospital Emergency Medical Services and Air Methods air medical provider.