This is an update to the death investigation yesterday on RR tracks: On Friday, November 17th, 2023, around 6:00 p.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s Office along with Polk County Fire Rescue responded to a call for service where a man laid down in front of a train in the area Neptune Rd and Hillcrest Rd in Auburndale. Upon arrival the man was declared deceased.
According to the investigation so far, detectives learned that 40-year-old James Lewis, currently homeless, was lounging on the tracks while the train approached. The crew aboard the train explained as they approached they thought there was debris on the track, but as they got closer they noticed it was in fact a man sitting on the rail with one leg in the air. The crew began utilizing the air horn and attempting to stop the train. As they approached Lewis they continued utilizing their air horn, but Lewis did not move off the track and appeared to move his leg in an attempt to lay under the train. The crew then lost sight of him.
Apparent K2 was located in Lewis’ pocket along with his Florida ID card and social security card.
His family reported that he had a long history of drug use.
The CSX locomotive was pulling approximately one hundred and twenty nine (129) cars and blocked two intersections, Recker Hwy/Hillcrest Rd and Hillcrest Rd/Neptune Rd.