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Norfolk Southern train conductor killed in Cleveland collision with dump truck

Blue light on top of a red and white ambulance
Tobias Arhelger
The train's conductor, Louis Shuster, was on the front left side of the forward train car when a dump truck collided with the train.

A Norfolk Southern conductor died early Tuesday morning after a dump truck collided with his train.

The collision happened at the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works property at 2615 West 3rd Street Cleveland, OH around 1:30 a.m.

According to Cleveland Police, Louis Shuster, 46, was on the front left side of the forward train car when a dump truck collided with the train. Shuster was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck, owned by TMS International, was carrying a full load of limestone. It had stopped at a stop sign before pulling forward and hitting the left side of the first car.

Shuster was the president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 607 in Cleveland and an Army veteran.

“He was always there for his coworkers," said Pat Redmond, a local chairman of BLET Division 607. "He was very active in helping veterans who worked on the railroad and veterans all across our community.”

The Cleveland Division of Police Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the incident. In a statement released by Norfolk Southern, "the company said i was "working with the Cleveland Police Department and Cleveland-Cliffs representatives to confirm the details and learn everything possible about the incident,” said the company in a press release.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.

Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio issued a statement following the collision acknowledging the loss of those involved and emphasizing the importance of rail safety.

“This tragedy is another example of how dangerous trains can be not only to our communities but to rail workers as well,” Antonio said. “As ranking member on the Senate Select Committee on Rail Safety, I hope we will address some of these dangers and explore policy solutions that will make our railways safer.”

Norfolk Southern has dealt with several accidents in the last month beginning with the train derailment in East Palestine that included the controlled release of hazardous materials. This most recent accident occurred a day after Norfolk Southern announced its six-point safety plan designed to prevent situations similar to the one in East Palestine.

"Reading the NTSB report makes it clear that meaningful safety improvements require a comprehensive industry effort that brings together railcar and tank car manufacturers, railcar owners and lessors, and the railroad companies," said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw.

Jenna Bal was a news intern at Ideastream Public Media from January 2023 to May 2024.