GONZALES — A Prairieville man died Saturday morning when he was hit by a southbound railroad train near Swamp Road in Ascension Parish.

A Kansas City Southern train ran over Ryan Freeman, 21, about 3:15 a.m. as he lay between the railroad tracks, Lt. Col. Bobby Webre of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The train’s conductor said Freeman never looked up or moved as the locomotive approached, Webre said.

Deputies were not ruling the death a suicide, Webre said in a phone interview.

Freeman was visiting a friend who lived on Swamp Road. The quickest way back to Freeman’s house on La. 621 would be to take a short cut along the railroad tracks, Webre said in a phone interview.

“This has happened before. It’s just somebody sits down on the tracks and falls asleep,” Webre said.

Freeman was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office. The investigation into his death remains open pending autopsy results, Webre said.