Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wayne County Mourns Student; Basketball Standout Morgan, 18, Dies after Being Hit by Train

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wayne County Mourns Student; Basketball Standout Morgan, 18, Dies after Being Hit by Train

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

Wayne County High School students will return to school Wednesday, a day before funeral services for a standout basketball player who died Saturday when he was hit by a train as he walked along tracks wearing headphones, officials said.

Shaquille Eugene Morgan, 18, was walking east on Norfork Southern tracks just past a railroad overpass over Georgia 84 when the crew of a train going the same direction saw him on the tracks with his back to them, Wayne County Sheriff John Carter said.

The engineer set the train's brake and blew the locomotive's horn, but Morgan apparently didn't hear it because he was wearing headphones, Carter said.

When Morgan didn't move off the tracks, the crew set the train's emergency brake, and the conductor went outside to the front deck of the locomotive and yelled at Morgan to try to get his attention, Carter said.

The conductor said Morgan finally looked back, saw the train and tried to get off the track but fell and was struck before he could get to his feet, Carter said.

The train traveled another 100 yards before stopping, and Morgan was dead at the scene, Carter said.

In spite of the dangers, people who live in the area frequently use the railroad trestle to cross U.S. 84 rather than at a highway intersection, Carter said.

Morgan had already crossed the railroad overpass when he was struck.

The death also sent shock waves through the law enforcement community because he was the son of Lt. Perry Morgan, a detective with the Jesup Police Department, Cater said.

Wayne County High Principal Jay Brinson said administrators reacted quickly to help students in the loss of the popular basketball player.

"It's a tragic loss,'' he said.

As word spread Saturday afternoon, a bus with the junior varsity basketball team was on the way to Douglas and the varsity was gathering at the gym to leave, Brinson said. …

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