Sheriff warns against train hopping after LeClaire man dies

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LECLAIRE, Iowa (KWQC) – A LeClaire man found dead near railroad tracks last Friday is suspected of taking part in the dangerous trend of train hopping at the time he was killed.

The body of Robert J. Lamb, 29, was found near tracks running south of Bud Creek in rural Scott County on July 20.

“He was riding on the train and he fell or jumped,” Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane told KWQC on Monday, adding that Lamb died of head injuries.

Lamb's death occurred the day after a 12-year-old girl was badly injured on train tracks across the Mississippi River in Moline, Illinois.

Police say the Moline girl was trying to jump a train on July 19 at 1:45 a.m. near 1st Street and Railroad Avenue when the train amputated one of her legs and part of the other.

NBC News reported last March that railroad trespassing fatalities in the U.S. have reached a 10-year high and that illegal train riding is “an activity growing in popularity.”

The report notes the trend is demonstrated and popularized on YouTube and sometimes glamorized in movies.

Sheriff Lane says in real-life the activity should always be avoided.

“Stay away from trains,” Lane said.

“They are dangerous and it is hard to judge their speed because they are so large.”