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St. Joseph County enforcing rail trespassing after 5 deaths

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) – Authorities in St. Joseph County say they’re enforcing laws barring trespassing on railroad property after five people have been killed on the tracks since May.

Mishawaka Police Lt. Tim Williams tells WNDU-TV that the goal is to keep people from walking down railroad tracks, for example as a shortcut. A first offense carries a fine of between $100 and $300. Second offenses are a misdemeanor and third offenses are a felony with jail time and a fine. The laws apply to pedestrians and motorists.

Norfolk Southern police also are patrolling for trespassers.

The latest death in the county was 16-year-old Elijah Brooks who died June 27 while trying to cross railroad tracks.