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GSP seeks help in notifying family of man hit by train

CONYERS -- The Georgia State Patrol is asking for the public's help in notifying the family of a man who was struck and killed by an eastbound CSX train Wednesday night.

GSP spokesman Gordy Wright said authorities have exhausted all leads in trying to locate the family members of Bryant Bennett Johnson, 54, who was hit by the train at about 9 p.m. in the area of Ellington Drive in Olde Town.

"Investigators would like to ask the public's help should anyone recognize Mr. Johnson and know of any family he may have," said Wright.

Anyone with information on Johnson's family is asked to call either Lt. Jackie Dunn at the Conyers Police at 770-929-4211 or Trooper Cory Seymour at the Georgia State Patrol in Monroe at 770-464-1800.

According to the GSP, Johnson was walking eastbound on the railroad tracks when he was hit from behind by the oncoming train.

"The engineer had blown the train's horn several times prior to striking the man," according to Gordy Wright, public information officer with the GSP.

Wright said the train's speed was estimated at 48 mph.

"Witnesses reported that the man never turned around before being hit," Wright said. "Blood was drawn to determine if the victim was under the influence."

Gary Sease, spokesman for CSX in Jacksonville, Fla., said the railroad was in the process Thursday of downloading a recording device in the locomotive to determine the speed of the train and the number and duration of the horn blasts. That information will be turned over to the GSP, Sease said.

According to reports, Johnson's body was dismembered by the impact and he was identified through the use of fingerprints. The engineer and conductor on the train were both visibly shaken by the incident, according to police sources.

Sease said CSX offers counseling to train crews that are involved in incidents such as this and give them the ability to mark off duty and be relieved by another crew.

The train had originated in Atlanta and was headed to Augusta, according to Sease. The train included two locomotives and 51 cars.