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Man fatally struck by train in Monroe County had been working on farm

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The 23-year-old man who was fatally struck by a train while on a tractor Friday had been working on a farm when he was killed.

Jonah K. Matthews, of Waterloo, was working for another farmer, helping to replant corn near Fults that hadn’t come to yield due to flooding, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Matthews’ father, David Matthews, told the newspaper that there were two trains, one going north and the other going south, and that his son had stopped for the first but didn’t see the second. Jonah Matthews was struck and killed by the southbound train. He pronounced dead at the scene by Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill.

The crash caused the derailment of 30 train cars. Though the train was carrying hazardous materials, those cars were several down from the crash and were not affected.

David Matthews told the Post-Dispatch that his son, one of six boys who grew up on Deer Creek Farm in rural Monroe County, was a standout in Future Farmers of America and was involved with other leadership opportunities.

According to his obituary, Jonah Matthews was also a member of First Baptist Church in Waterloo and Monroe County Young Leaders.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.
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