Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Friday, January 23, 2004


Some new him as Ron Oliver, but most on the streets knew him as "Cowboy". I had seen him several times around town hanging out with the guys at Southern Inn during the summer. Shortly after Thanksgiving I had stopped in to visit Lafayette at Southern Inn to invite him to our Christmas dinner and find out what size coat he wears, when in walked Cowboy. I had never been formally introduced to him, but heard a great deal about him from the other guys.

Cowboy, whatever it was that made you sit on those tracks and not move as the train sped forward, at least know that you will be missed by many and you are now in a place free from pain.

Williamsburg man, sitting on tracks, hit by train, dies

Daily Press

Published January 23, 2004

WILLIAMSBURG -- A 51-year-old Williamsburg man was struck by a CSX coal train Thursday and pronounced dead at the scene, Williamsburg police said.

The victim was identified as Ronald Jay Oliver of the 200 block of Merrimac Trail, said Deputy Police Chief Dave Sloggie.

The collision occurred about 1 p.m. on the tracks behind the Goodyear Auto Service Center in the 1500 block of Richmond Road, Sloggie said.

He said the engineer reported that the man was sitting on the tracks and did not respond when the train blew its horn. The eastbound train was going 35-40 mph and couldn't stop in time to avoid hitting Oliver, Sloggie said.

Still visibly distraught about an hour later, the engineer declined to talk to a reporter.

Oliver's body has been sent to the state forensics lab in Richmond for an autopsy, Sloggie said. He declined to speculate on why Oliver might have been sitting on the tracks or why he would have failed to move before the train hit him.

Police are awaiting results of the autopsy and toxicology testing to determine whether alcohol, drugs or other medical problems might have been a factor. Results of toxicology testing can take weeks or months to receive, Sloggie said.


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