Ottumwa man struck, killed by train on birthday

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Duane Daniel Heifort, 23, of Ottumwa died Wednesday when he was struck by a train in Ottumwa. It was his birthday.

OTTUMWA, Iowa — An Ottumwa man died on his birthday Wednesday when he was struck by a train about 11:25 a.m., according to the Ottumwa Police Department.

Officers located the body of Duane Daniel Heifort, 23, west of S. Iowa Avenue. The incident is under investigation by local law enforcement.

Heifort was born Jan. 23, 1996, in Ottumwa to Timothy Heifort and Darlene Denniston.

He enjoyed walking, bike riding, fishing, animals and being around his family and friends.

Heifort is survived by his parents, Tim Heifort of Ottumwa and Darlene Denniston of Oskaloosa; a brother, Chad Heifort of Ottumwa; a sister, Shawna (Nathan) Larsh of Fairfield; grandparents, Allen and Donna Willier of Sarcoxie, Mo., and Herman and Mary Helen Heifort of Houston, Texas; aunts and uncles, James (Kim) Heifort of Ottumwa, Jennifer (Gary) Townsend of Des Moines, Jeff (Lori) Heifort of Ottumwa, Dawn (Garry) Willier of State Center, Amanda (Phil) LeGrande of Ottumwa, Mike (Amber) Willier of Simpsonville, S.C., Guy (Heather) Willier of Alma, Kan., Becky Koontz (Shannon Feaster and Raymond Koontz) of Oskaloosa, Karen Fletcher (Rhonda Harris) of Oskaloosa, Joseph (Barbara) Fletcher of Oskaloosa, Richard, (Laura) Fletcher of Albia, Ora (Carla) Fletcher Jr. of Oskaloosa, Tina (Charles) Padgett of Eddyville, Teresa (David) Shafer of Burlington and Diane Howard; and many close cousins.

He was preceded in death by grandparents, Ora and Ruth Fletcher; aunts, Ronda Heifort-Boas and Julie Yi; and cousin, Jessie Yi.

Heifort’s body has been cremated.

A celebration of life will be held Sunday, Feb. 3 from 1-4 p.m.at the Gathering Room at 501 N. Sheridan Ave. in Ottumwa. Memorials may be sent to his sister, Shawna Larsh, 1003 S. Seventh St., Fairfield, IA 52556.

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