Archive for Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Officials say man’s death accidental

March 10, 2004

Leavenworth County authorities have decided that the death of a man whose body was found along railroad tracks last month was accidental.

Undersheriff Dave Zoellner said eye-witnesses had seen John Schmidt, 29, Eudora, walking along railroad tracks near Bonner Springs before his body was discovered in extreme southeastern Leavenworth County.

The coroner who performed an autopsy believes that Schmidt's head injuries were consistent with being struck by a train, Zoellner said.

"We've ruled that an accidental death," Zoellner said.

He said family members last saw Schmidt on the evening of Feb. 9 in Eudora.

About 13 hours later -- about 11 a.m. the following day -- witnesses saw him walking along Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Schmidt's car, with a flat tire, was discovered on Interstate 435, south of Interstate 70.

About 1:30 p.m., Schmidt's body was discovered along the railroad tracks by crew members of a passing Union Pacific train.

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