A Lexington woman hit by a train Tuesday night apparently committed suicide by lying across the tracks, according to the Fayette County coroner's office.
Aletha D. King, 54, was killed when she was hit by a Norfolk Southern train behind the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park off Lisle Road at the border of Scott and Fayette counties.
The train's engineer told investigators King "made no effort to escape" as the train approached, according to the coroner's release. The cause of death was listed as multisystem trauma.
King's neighbor, Kimberly Shouse, who lives next to the tracks, said her family was having dinner when their home suddenly lit up with police and fire department lights around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. The train had stopped completely, she said.
Shouse said King, who lived in a mobile home about 100 yards from the tracks, was well known and well liked in the community.
"She's not the kind of person you would expect to do something like that," she said.
Neighbors said she could be found every morning sitting on her front porch drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, and she was quick to spare a kind word.
She loved children, Shouse said, and kids in the neighborhood knew her best as "Aunty Ma."
"She was a nice lady, very sweet," said Sarah Shouse, Kimberly Shouse's sister. "She would give you the shirt off her back to help you."
Family members spent Wednesday planning King's funeral and building a small wooden cross to place near the tracks.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Care Cremation and Funeral Services in Lexington.
While neighbors weren't aware of any recent deaths before King, several said the tracks were a cause of concern in the community.
At their closest point, the tracks are about 30 yards from mobile homes. They are not fenced in, and there are no gates where the tracks cross Lisle Road off U.S. 25.
Resident Linda Naimo and Alesha Miller said the majority of the trailer park's residents were children and teenagers, and teens were often seen wandering around the tracks despite "no trespassing" signs.
"I think there should be a fence," said Shouse, who has three children.