Countless residents of San Diego and the surrounding area depend on our local Amtrak line to get from place to place. For many, it’s actually part of their daily commute as they use the train to get to work or school. Given the amount of traffic these trains facilitate, it’s actually pretty remarkable that more accidents don’t occur. While they travel on a fixed line, Amtrak trains still reach impressive speeds and often come very close to travelers waiting to board.
However, this past Saturday, July 20th, an Amtrak train was making its rounds through Encinitas when it struck a local man. The accident happened at about 4:50 pm at the 1400 block of North Vulcan Avenue.
Witnesses told investigators that a man attempted to cross the tracks. At some point, he lost his footing and ended up falling right as the train was making its approach. Fortunately, the train only made contact with his right arm. While he was injured enough to need a trip to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, things obviously could have been much worse.
Last year, a 24 year-old man was killed when an Amtrak train struck his vehicle. He had made an unsuccessful attempt at merging into the left lane of the highway and overcorrected when returning back to the right lane. This brought his car off the highway altogether and onto nearby tracks. Almost immediately, an Amtrak train that was going somewhere between 65 and 70 miles an hour actually cut the car in half. Although no one aboard the train was hurt, the driver of the car was killed instantly.
Just because the man involved in this recent case should be counting his blessings, it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t call a lawyer too. Details are still pending, but he may need to defend himself in court if Amtrak presses charges.