A former features editor with the Greensboro News & Record was found dead early Tuesday morning on the railroad tracks near the intersection of Dillard and Pettigrew streets in Durham.
Carla Diane Bagley was struck by an Amtrak passenger train as it passed through Durham on its way to Charlotte.
The incident occurred at 7:30 a.m., while the train was en route to the Amtrak station at Chapel Hill Street downtown. After the accident, one of the conductors stopped the train, walked behind it and found the body lying on the tracks, according to a passenger who asked not to be identified.
"We didn't know what happened at first," said the passenger. "You can't hear anything over those whistles. There's no way she couldn't know we were coming."
A spokesperson for the Durham Police Department reports that the death does not appear suspicious or accidental. Police have not ordered an autopsy.
Bagley, 50, was a longtime employee at the News & Record, beginning her stint at the paper at the copy desk and working as a reporter and as the features editor, said N&R Editor John Robinson.
Bagley left the paper in April 2006 after she plagiarized parts of a column from a story published online by The Triad Business Journal.
Ironically, while at the News & Record, Bagley had written a story about two reporters at the Reidsville Review who had fabricated stories, the publication of which led to the dismissal of that paper's editor.
Despite the ethical misstep, Robinson remembered Bagley Tuesday as a passionate and professional journalist.
"She loved the newspapers," he said. "She had a great sense of curiosity, which led her to do a great many things at the paper, and she attacked them with a great sense of professionalism and enthusiasm. It's just a shame."