Homeless man dies after being hit by train for second time in two years

By Calvin Palmer

A homeless Alabama man has been killed by a train after he survived being hit by one two years ago.

Huntsville police said Phillip Holman, 46, was sitting on the railway tracks on Wednesday when he was hit by a Norfolk Southern train and killed.

“He could get depressed when he drank,” said mission chaplain Kevin Marsh who had been trying to help Holman qualify for disability compensation due to the injuries from the first train accident and “some mental issues.”

Holman got turned down for disability payments “even though he had too much wrong with him to be able to work and take care of himself,” Marsh said.

“There is a man dead and I’m frustrated because there are cracks in the system,” the chaplain said. “Obviously, even if he had his disability check, he could have sat down in front of the train. Or maybe he wouldn’t have been as depressed and wouldn’t have done it.”

In 2007, Holman was hit by a train while intoxicated on brandy. His right arm was ripped off and his left leg was badly broken.

Doctors at Huntsville Hospital reattached his arm and straightened his leg. He recuperated at the Downtown Rescue Mission in Huntsville where he said he wanted to stop drinking and repair his relationship with his family in nearby Madison.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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