A pedestrian was struck and killed by a CSX train Thursday night in Bay St. Louis, in what appears to be an act of suicide, according to Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk.
The incident occurred at approximately 8:43 p.m., just past Webb Street off Central Avenue, Bay St. Louis Police Chief Gary Ponthieux, Jr. said in a press release.
According to Faulk, the train was traveling eastbound when it struck a 60-year-old Bay St. Louis man. The man has been identified as 60-year-old William Mitchell Reyna, Faulk said.
"Preliminary investigation by the detectives and the coroner indicate that all safety lights and whistles on the train were working and activated at the time of impact," Ponthieux said. "Preliminary investigation indicates that the death is a result of suicide."
Before the incident, Faulk said, Reyna apparently parked his vehicle near the tracks and waited for the train to come. The train's conductor, Faulk said, witnessed the event but was unable to stop in time.
Officials found the man lying on the tracks beneath the train.
The accident caused traffic in the immediate area on Central Avenue to be shut down to one lane and blocked several railroad crossings throughout Bay St. Louis and Waveland.
Other trains were being held as authorities investigated the incident.
Faulk said Reyna suffered fatal injuries to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation is ongoing, Ponthieux said, and anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Bay St. Louis Police Department Detective Division at 228-467-9222.
Officials with CSX Railroad were not available for comment by press time Friday.
If you or someone you love is thinking about suicide, there's help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The helpline provides several services and is available 24/7 with free and confidential support for people in distress.