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MARTA contractor struck by train Sunday night has died

MARTA says the worker was a contractor with Cleveland Electric.

ATLANTA — Officials say the contractor who was struck by a MARTA train Sunday night while working on the tracks between the Buckhead and North Springs stations has died.

The incident happened near the Medical Center station near Peachtree-Dunwoody Road on the transit system's Red Line at about 9 p.m. Sunday.

Rail service had been interrupted at the time of the incident and resumed early Monday morning.

According to MARTA spokesperson Stephany Fisher, the contractor, identified as 38-year-old Robert Smith, was in a work vehicle on the rails near the station when the vehicle was hit by a northbound train, critically injuring the worker.

Fisher says Smith was a contractor with Cleveland Electric.

There were no reported injuries from passengers, and rail operators were able to safely offload riders.

11Alive photojournalist Tyson Paul spoke to one passenger aboard the train who heard and felt, the impact of the collision.

"I was on my way to work going to North Springs Station, and just, minding my own business. I had my headphones on and it was just a bad impact – a big boom," Dayonne Epps, who was riding in the first car of the train, described.

At the moment of impact, Epps said he could feel something go underneath the tracks.

"I just didn't know what it was," he said. "I was hoping it wasn't a body, but it felt that way, as if you were driving a car and ran over something."

Shortly after, Epps said the conductor came into the car.

"He was emotionally distressed," he said. "He broke down crying because he knew that he had hit somebody."

Epps said a few passengers aboard the train ran to the front of the train and saw the body on the tracks. Epps said he could also see other workers crying and screaming outside the train.

"They were just breaking down, screaming in tears," he described. "When I saw that, along with the other passengers, I knew that it was something tragic."

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