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VALPARAISO - A Norfolk Southern train was traveling eastbound through Valparaiso when it struck a man lying motionless on the tracks early Sunday morning, according to a news release from the Porter County Coroner's Office.

The Porter County Coroner's Office was dispatched to a railroad crossing on Axe Avenue, just north of Morthland Drive in Valparaiso, at 4:33 a.m.

The office declared 24-year-old Joseph Niepokoj, of Valparaiso, dead at the scene, according to the release.

The train's engineer said he was heading around a curve when he saw an object in the tracks. He attempted to stop the locomotive but was unable to halt it, according to the release.

An investigation is ongoing. The cause and manner of the death have not been determined. The Porter County Coroner's Office will conduct an autopsy and toxicology testing. Valparaiso police and Norfolk Southern are also investigating the incident, according to the release.

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