Couple has near-miss with train by Florence

aA freak incident occurred in the early morning hours Friday near Florence.

A call came in at 3:15 a.m. that a pedestrian on a train track may have been struck by an Amtrak train.

According to Florence Police Chief Conroy Miller, an elderly couple from Minnesota had turned off U.S.-50 on Wagon Wheel Road, just southwest of Florence, because they were tired. The low-maintenance county road was extremely muddy due to recent rains and the couple's 2007 Buick became stuck.

Miller said the couple, who were later identified as Robert E. Poupore, 83, and Shirley B. Poupore, 76, of Bloomington, Minn., got out of the vehicle and began walking on the train tracks. An Amtrak passenger train approached the pair, sounded its horn, and the couple moved to the side of the tracks.

From there the information becomes sketchy because it was not confirmed whether anyone was actually struck by the train.

The train's engineer indicated he had heard a noise which made him think maybe he had struck something or someone.

Shirley Poupore was injured in the incident and was transported by Florence EMS to St. Luke Hospital, Marion. She then was transferred by LifeTeam to Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus of Wichita, where she was treated and released. Robert Poupore was not injured.

Marion County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident and it was not clear to investigators at presstime whether the woman was actually struck or just fell backward when the train passed.