Flags half-staff for Pa. firefighter hit by train

Flags at Half Staff
Flags at Half Staff

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered flags to half-staff for a western Pennsylvania firefighter fatally struck by a train while crews were searching for a missing woman.

The flags were lowered at the state Capitol in Harrisburg and at state offices in Westmoreland County, where 57-year-old Edwin “Jeff” Wentzel was a volunteer firefighter in Youngwood.

Wentzel was hit by the Norfolk Southern train about 5:45 p.m. Saturday in North Versailles, where the woman’s coat and cellphone were found under a rail yard bridge.

Norfolk Southern had stopped train traffic during an earlier search, but wasn’t alerted to do so before the search resumed Saturday.

Witnesses believe Wentzel heard the train’s whistle but mistakenly thought it was coming from an approaching train before he was hit by another train from behind.

His funeral is Thursday.

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