The man killed Friday when a train struck a car in New Haven was the pastor of a Spanish-speaking congregation at a local Methodist church.
Ramon Aleman, 55, of Fort Wayne died from blunt-force trauma, but the circumstances of his death are still under investigation, according to the Allen County Coroners Office.
He was compassionate, and he was very interested in the lives of the people that he served as pastor, said the Rev. Matthew Leffler, Alemans English-speaking counterpart at Trinity United Methodist Church.
On Friday morning, Aleman was in a car that was eastbound on North River Road. At a railroad crossing just east of Landin Road, the train hit the car on the drivers side and pushed it about 150 yards to a railroad bridge that spans the Maumee River.
The car was slammed against the metal beams of the bridge. The train stopped less than a couple hundred yards after hitting the car.
At the time of the crash, the gates were down and the lights were flashing at the crossing, authorities said.
Norfolk Southern spokesman Dave Pidgeon said the train was headed to Missouri with two locomotives and 144 loaded cars. He said no Norfolk Southern workers were injured.
Pidgeon said the speed limit for trains on that stretch of track is 60 mph. When the crash occurred, the train was moving about 30 mph, local authorities said.
Aleman had been a pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church, 609 Putnam St., west of Wells Street, for the past five years.
He was born in Mexico and graduated from a Bible seminary there before coming to the U.S. in 1997. All told, he served as a pastor for 38 years, according to his family.
He was a good adviser, and he loved the members of the church, said his son Ivan Aleman, 27.
He always had time for anyone.
Aleman is survived by his wife, two sons and four grandchildren.
His service is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday at Trinity United Methodist Church, with calling from noon to 4 p.m. at the church.