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Pedestrian Hit By Train
updated: Jul 26, 2009, 6:38 PM

Source: Citizen Journalist Listening To Scanner

Another pedestrian has been hit by a train near Refugio, per scanner and CHP web site.

From another journalist ...
An apparently northbound train was stopped near the beach access immediately south of Refugio when I passed at 6:30 PM this evening. There were many emergency vehicles and personnel present. I fear there may have been another accident. Anyone hear anything?

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-26 09:10 PM

I heard something on my scanner too all the people in the emergency vehicles were looking for the victim..The engineer I assume it was the engineer stated the victim was tossed 15 feet over the track and appeared to be knocked unconcious with a head injury...I am not sure weather or not the person was alive as I missed the last report..They stated they found the site of the accident right after the engine company said they were back in service..It sounded to me like it happened in Carp. I really couldn't tell..


 COMMENT 32921 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-26 09:12 PM

These peeps are 1) wanting to commit suicide 2) drunk or 3) stupid or 4) a combo of these.

How do you not know a train is coming? You can hear it miles away. I can't understand these constant "person hit by train" stories.

Trains can't stop on a dime. They don't stop quickly like cars. I wonder if people actually care to know that.


 COMMENT 32923 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-26 10:31 PM

The trains don't always blow their horns. They do sneak up on people. Especially if they are crossing near a curve. They go fast and as you said, they can't stop. I think this one happened at Refugio. The less populated areas and a conductor who is newer might make for a bad mix. People listening to headphones might not hear one coming..... might be a little early to call the victim stupid.


 COMMENT 32924 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-26 11:24 PM

Crossing the train tracks with headphones blasting is indeed a definition of stupid.

Trains blow their horns at established crossings. If you choose to cross elsewhere, you'd best pay attention.

What I don't understand is why the conductor would even attempt to stop the train, risking the safety of the passengers, when there is zero likelihood of avoiding hitting the obstacle on the tracks.


 COMMENT 32926 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 12:12 AM

KEYT reported (about 12 seconds worth) that it was near Refugio and the person hit by the train was indeed killed. I'm sure there will be more information on Monday.


 COMMENT 32928 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 04:24 AM

The tricky thing to learn about trains is that the engineers have a policy to never swerve to avoid a collision.


 COMMENT 32938 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 08:19 AM

Good one, Crank! Earphones on a train track are the equivalent to cell phones while driving.


 COMMENT 32940 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 08:29 AM

There's a short article about it here:


 COMMENT 32941 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 08:32 AM

Goleta man killed. Wife and he had parked nearby to walk on the beach.

According to Noozhawk.


 COMMENT 32942 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 08:33 AM

Did I miss a reference to headphones somewhere?

I wouldn't go as far as Cookie Jill, but I also don't get it. Eddicted, Refugio may be a "less populated area" but it's pretty much standard practice when trains pass through the state park areas or anywhere there's a likelihood of pedestrians crossing, they blow the horn. I'm sure someone can dig up the "horn blowing policy" for this part of the central coast, but really, they sound it a lot.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 08:47 AM

I almost got hit at Santa Claus Lane years ago it came around the corner it was right there..No horn..Now as I age my hearing is going to hell so I really pay attention. I live right near the tracks at Milpas and when you get used to the sounds of the trains and it's part of the enviorment I can see how it would be easy to get hit..Where I lived as a kid near Chicago you had to cross 30 sets of tracks to get to the neighborhood store..The worse problem we had back then with trains is that they would stop blocking the crossings sometimes for an hour or more Oh and idoits trying to beat the trains in their cars like that woman in the van with her kids about a year ago in my home town..I only witnessed one accident where a kid fell while trying to climb between the train to get to school on time his arm got ran over, he lived..I saw a fella here at Milpas right after he got hit he died..We walked the tracks all the time when we were kids trains were slower but not that much slower I suppose we will have to consider building barriers next to the tracks now that Cold Springs will have a barrier..I imagine jumping from that bridge and getting hit by a train the same..Maybe the train might hurt alittle more plus whatever doesn't get cleaned up by the emergency crews ends up getting eaten by crows and seagulls which in turn they crap out all over town so you get crapped on for eternity...


 COMMENT 32947 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 09:34 AM

Wow. I mean ... wow. Totally inappropriate.


 COMMENT 32952 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 10:06 AM

Actually, my cousin was visiting a couple of weeks ago and we were at Santa Claus and the train snuck up on her. She had made it across the tracks just in time. She was very scared. She isn't stupid, wasn't drunk, wasn't listening to an ipod. Just not used to the trains. There are a lot of near misses. The point as in anything else is be aware and pay attention, but accidents do happen. People also use the trains as a source of escape. Obviously they can't swerve etc. Please, no more walls! There was a man a couple of weeks ago that had his arm hit or something. Where did that happen?


 COMMENT 32954 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 11:19 AM

Personally, I think it's all of the above when it comes to the "whys" of this sort of tragic accident. There are suicides, people acting jerky to impress friends (I once saw a girl in her 20s pretend to play chicken with one as it came in across State Street. The joke was on her and she was nearly hit.) People dont' realize how fast they are going, some people wear iPods and others are just completely caught off guard. I go to the beach almost every day at Santa Claus Lane and I've never almost been hit, so am I lucky or am I just hyper-aware of it since I've been "checking" for trains since I was a toddler with my parents? Dunno, but regardless of the whys involved, it's always a tragedy when someone gets injured or killed by a train.


 COMMENT 32956 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 11:54 AM

And this is very tragic indeed!
I know this person very well and he just happened to be at a wrong place at wrong time. He was a very honest, god-fearing, fun loving friend of mine. A slight miscalculation on his part and we lost him forever. Request you not to use any foul language for him. May his soul rest in peace!!
Thank you


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 01:12 PM

I apologize for my insensitive remarks..There's no excuse for it. Ever since my homeless buddy was murdered I've been a real jerk toward others and mad as hell....The trains need to slow down.


 COMMENT 32976 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 05:02 PM

People also forget how wide a train is. It's not enough just be off the tracks.


 COMMENT 32981 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 05:44 PM

That's a very good point, Quercusrosa. I heard that a young teenage girl died near Saticoy in early spring. She'd been walking w her mother and father and siblings when she was struck on the shoulder as a slow moving train rounded a corner. Sadly, her parents said they thought they had plenty of room.

Also a good reminder that even slow moving trains can cause serious injury or death.

Murtfriend, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. My condolences.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 08:13 PM

Trains do not need to slow down. Would anyone expect cars to slow down because careless people decided to walk into traffic?


 COMMENT 32994 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 09:15 PM

The worst local train situation I know of is at the beach in Lompoc. The safe crossing is at Ocean Beach Park, where there is a path under the tracks near the river mouth. However, that access point is closed 7 months of the year to protect the snowy plover. This leaves people with only nearby Surf Beach, which requires an at grade crossing. Trains from the north can be seen and heard a long way off, but trains from the south come flying around a corner and are very quickly at the pedestrian crossing. A toddler was killed there a few years ago. This area also has the problem others have mentioned of trains stopping on a siding, and people going over and under the train cars to get to the beach or back from the beach. It's a nightmare waiting to happen again.


 COMMENT 32995 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 09:16 PM

I am sorry for friends and family of this guy and others who have been killed but at least to a certain extent it's their own responsibility, a bit like suicide. I can not imagine how anyone not drunk or whatever would fail to stop/look/listen for a train when one's near the tracks.

Think how dreadful it must be for the engineer of the train, doing his job, without fault....


 COMMENT 33001 agree helpful negative off topic

2009-07-27 10:06 PM

Most people have not noticed but a few years ago the tracks were upgraded. Those that think that you couldn't possible miss the clack-clack-clack of the coming train are not aware that the old rails have been removed and the rails are now much longer and are precision welded together. This makes for a quieter ride and a more efficient train. No more clack-clack-clack of the train. No more warning of impending doom.

It would be interesting to see the number of accidents prior to the improvement compared with the number after the improvement. It certainly seems that there have been more after the long rails but the numbers would tell.


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