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Old 07-22-2010, 02:58 PM
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Default Another Darwin Award nominee...

Summerville man dies after trying to ‘slap the train’ outside bar
The Post and Courier
Originally published 09:37 a.m., July 22, 2010
Updated 02:53 p.m., July 22, 2010

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A Summerville man celebrating his 23rd birthday died early Thursday after he apparently tried to “slap the train” as it traveled past a local bar.

Justin Helton was pronounced dead at the scene after sustaining multiple fractures and massive blunt force injuries, Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet said.

Nisbet said Helton was at the Ice House Bar & Grill on East Doty Avenue about 1:46 a.m. when he told someone he was going to “slap the train.”

Witnesses told Summerville police officers that Helton had been drinking throughout the night and appeared to be in a good mood until he had an argument with an ex-girlfriend, an incident report says.

The woman told police that Helton became upset and went to the oncoming train to touch it with his hand when his foot became stuck in the track in front of the train. She said it did not appear as though he jumped in front of the train, according to the report.

Another witness said she watched the incident from the bar’s front porch. She said Helton ran out of a car and ran to the edge of the grass near the railroad tracks. He was standing with his arms spread out and the wind was whipping his shirt. The witness said it appeared as though he knocked the side of the train and didn’t get back up, it says.

Nisbet said it appears Helton was sucked into the train. He said the train conductor was not aware of what happened and had to be stopped further down the tracks for the investigation.

It was the second incident involving a train near the Ice House Bar & Grill in just more than two months.

Christopher Ryan Coleman told police in May that he was “sucked under” the train while walking along the railroad tracks and texting his wife.

“I didn’t really believe in God until tonight,” Coleman said at the time.

Coleman was treated for injuries to his knee and fingers before he was charged with trespassing on a railroad right of way. Police were not able to verify that he was actually under the train.