ESPLEN (KDKA) — A West Elizabeth business owner was killed Thursday night when he was hit by a train.
John Relja, 48, was riding some train tracks off of West Carson Street in Esplen when he was struck and killed.
Watch Trina Orlando’s report:
Police say it’s likely he never knew what hit him.
Relja and his bike were thrown about 30 feet over a ledge by the impact.
It took the train more than a mile to stop.
Police believe Relja may have been trying to avoid construction traffic on West Carson.
They say this was a tragic accident.
Relja has owned Jim’s Guitar Works in West Elizabeth with his brother Jim for more than a decade.
He was known for his talent at fixing guitars and also his love of MG cars.
He belonged to an online club for MG enthusiasts.
Jim Relja told KDKA that his brother was a very private man, who would not want people paying too much attention to his death.
West Carson Street was closed for hours while police investigated the crash.
Watch Christine D’Antonio’s report:
It’s not clear where Relja was headed at the time of the crash.
Esplen is about 20-miles from his business in West Elizabeth.
Police hope this tragedy will be a reminder to others to stay off of train tracks as warmer weather moves in.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.