Family left with questions after St. Matthews Car Wash employee - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Family left with questions after St. Matthews Car Wash employee killed by train

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The railroad tracks run very close to the St. Matthews Car Wash where Kyle Applegate worked. Family members say he was asked to go pick up trash near the tracks on a slow day. The railroad tracks run very close to the St. Matthews Car Wash where Kyle Applegate worked. Family members say he was asked to go pick up trash near the tracks on a slow day.
Kyle Applegate (Courtesy: Pamela Sanders) Kyle Applegate (Courtesy: Pamela Sanders)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Finding out her cousin was hit and killed by a train Thursday afternoon still hasn't sunk in for Pamela Sanders and her family.

She says his name was Kyle Applegate and, on a slow day at the car wash where he worked, he was asked to pick up trash along the railroad.

"Everybody is just in shock, we're absolutely in shock," Sanders said. "He came home for lunch today and then he's just gone."

She says Applegate was a new employee at St. Matthews Car Wash, which sits only a few feet from the train tracks.

He had only worked there a couple months, but on May 21 -- a chilly, overcast day -- there wasn't much business.

"From what we understand, it was slow," said Sanders. "So he was asked to pick up trash off the train tracks."

The family has many unanswered questions, like why didn't Applegate see or hear the train? Was he wearing headphones at the time he was hit?

Wayne Gentry with Operation Safety says by law trains do not use their horns at the tracks near the Chenoweth Lane crossing.

"But if they see somebody on the track or they see an unusual situation or an issue or a problem of any kind, they will blow the whistle," Gentry said.

In this case, Gentry and other witnesses say they heard the train horn.

Applegate also worked with his brother at the carwash, who was there at the time.

"They wouldn't let him come and see him right away, but he was able to ride in the ambulance with him," Gentry explained.

Sanders cherishes some of the last times she got to spend with him, like taking a late night trip to McDonalds.

"I'm glad I took him, because I didn't want to go," Sanders said. "I almost told him no, but we went and we chit-chatted like we usually do."

When he went back to work from his lunch break, he said his final goodbye to family members.

"He told him he loved him, we all say that to each other when we leave," said Sanders.

Applegate was taken to University Hospital, where he later died.

The accident is still under investigation.

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