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April 3, 2014

Lily man struck and killed by train

Was reportedly walking on tracks near Robinson Creek Rd.

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Miki Strunk quickly navigated the worn, wooden cross ties of the railroad tracks in her work uniform Wednesday afternoon desperately searching for an answer.

And what she was forced to hear was devastating news that sent her into screaming, agonized grief — her boyfriend of 13 years had been struck and killed by a train.

Leif Sandkulla, 35, of Lily, was reportedly walking north on the railroad tracks near Robinson Creek Road about 3:30 p.m. when the CSX train came around a bend in the tracks, according to Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

He said the train, also traveling northbound, sounded its warning whistle — but for unknown reasons Sandkulla never left the tracks.

Sandkulla was then hit by the train and received fatal injuries, according to Acciardo.

Heartbroken with grief, Strunk was assisted back to the road by Deputy Daniel Grigsby, and met by members of her family to comfort her.

Sheriff John Root said that Deputy Robbie Grimes will continue the investigation into Sandkulla’s death.

The train’s engine was pulling approximately a dozen or so cars, most of which were loaded with cut logs.

Assisting at the scene was Lt. Chuck Johnson, Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter, Detective Josh Scott, bailiffs Andrew Lawson and Brandon Broughton and court security officer Patrick Harris.

Also helping at the scene were crew members with the Laurel County Coroner’s Office, Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County, Lily Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, and the London-Laurel Rescue Squad.

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