Woman hit by train Friday near Richmond Road

Jimmy LaRoue
Contact Reporterjlarouejr@vagazette.com

An Amtrak train passing through the Williamsburg area struck and killed a James City County woman Friday, according to police.

The woman, Shantay Romana Smith, 28, died after being struck by Amtrak Northeast Regional 67 at about 12:10 p.m. on an area of the track that runs parallel to Richmond Road and the Williamsburg Premium Outlets, James City County Deputy Police Chief Steve Rubino said.

Former Virginia Gazette reporter Austin Bogues was on the train and said the conductor told passengers that the train struck a person shortly after noon.

A witness told police a woman wearing headphones walked into the wooded area along Richmond Road across from the outlets and was headed toward the train tracks, Rubino said.

The witness lost sight of her, then saw the Amtrak train heading east and heard the train whistle, Rubino said.

James City County Police responded within minutes of the incident, as it had an officer working an overtime shift at the outlets, Rubino said, and police were able to find the woman’s body along the track.

Rubino said no one on the train was injured and by 2 p.m. passengers were given the option of taking a bus to either the Williamsburg or Newport News train stations. Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said 63 people were on the train, which originated in Boston and was heading toward Virginia Beach.

Amtrak is cooperating with the investigation, Abrams said.

As of 3:40 p.m. Friday, the train was on the move again, Abrams said.

Amtrak police, CSX and James City County police were all on scene Friday afternoon investigating the incident.

Police and other emergency personnel stopped traffic along Richmond Road near the outlet mall, but traffic was allowed to continue. Mooretown Road remained open to traffic.

Friday’s incident was the second time in as many days in which someone was killed after being struck by a train locally.

At about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, a man died after being struck by a CSX coal train in the 700 block of York Street, Williamsburg Police spokesman Maj. Greg Riley said. Police found the man lying on the tracks, Riley said.

Medics took the man to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, where the man died around 8:45 p.m., Riley said.

Police have not released the name of the man pending notification of next of kin.

The scene of Friday’s incident is not far from the scene of another incident in which an Amtrak train struck and killed a person. On May 2, 2017, a man was struck and killed by a westbound Amtrak train near Richmond and Airport roads.

LaRoue can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342, by email at jlarouejr@vagazette.com or on Twitter @jlaroue.

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