Yesterday, Norfolk Southern provided the following statement from its President and CEO, Alan H. Shaw following the accidental death of a rail worker after a dump truck collided with a train on Tuesday morning. The collision occured at the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works property in Cleveland, Ohio, and was first reported by WKYC. In an earlier statement, the employee was identified as conductor Louis Shuster.
“As has now been widely reported, one of our Norfolk Southern colleagues was fatally injured overnight in a tragic accident on the job. Louis Shuster, a conductor from Broadview Heights, Ohio, was struck by a dump truck as his train moved through a rail crossing at the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works facility.
“I went to Cleveland as soon as I heard the tragic news. At our Rockport Yard, I talked with several railroaders who worked with Lou, as he was known. They shared stories about an individual who was respected and liked by his colleagues. This is an awful day that leaves a hole in our company’s spirit. We have reached out to Lou’s family to offer our condolences. We will give them time to grieve, and we will be there with support for anything they need.
“The cause of the accident is not yet known, and we will of course co-operate fully with the National Transportation Safety Board. In some ways, the cause does not matter. I called together every member of our management team this afternoon to emphasize the urgency of finding new solutions. Tomorrow we will hold safety stand-down briefings reaching every employee across our network.
“Moving forward, we are going to rebuild our safety culture from the ground up. We are going to invest more in safety. This is not who we are, it is not acceptable, and it will not continue.”