Man dies at level crossing

A 39-YEAR-OLD man has been killed after being hit by a coal train at a railway level crossing in Gatton.

Police said the man died after he was hit by the diesel locomotive pulling coal wagons towards Brisbane on Monday night.

The train line had to be shut while the police Forensic Crash Unit started investigating.

Gatton police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Tom Missingham said the dead man was a 39-year-old who had lived in Gatton for about 12 months.

He said the man was struck and killed at a crossing on Gaul St.

Police found his body next to the tracks.

"The train driver said he saw the man lying along the track," Snr Sgt Missingham said.

"The driver applied the brake and sounded the horn and said the man appeared to move, but it was too late and he was struck by the train."

Gatton Commercial Hotel publican Grant Blake said the man was a regular at the pub and had been drinking there earlier in the night.

"I was the only one on last night," Mr Blake said yesterday.

"He came in with a couple of mates and they played pool out the back.

"We close early on Monday night so he left when we shut at 7.30. He wasn't drunk.

"He had to cross the railway line to get home. I haven't heard anything about how it happened.

"It's just devastating for him and the community. It's happened to the nicest of blokes.

"He was a great customer. I never had any trouble with him. He was just a great, nice guy. He didn't have any enemies."

Mr Blake said he had been devastated to hear of the man's death.

"I couldn't believe it. It was only earlier I'd been speaking to him," he said.

"He was getting quite comfortable in Gatton, from what he told me. I think he was looking at staying.

"He worked at an asphalt and bitumen company. He came up from New South Wales to find work."

A report on the man's death will be prepared for the coroner. His name has not been officially released.



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