Trains are a fairly typical feature throughout San Diego and the surrounding areas, especially around the coast. However, that doesn’t meant they still don’t injure or even kill people multiple times a year. In fact, last month, three people were killed in separate incidents in just five days. In 2013, train accidents accounted for 117 deaths in the state, making California the worst in the country for this type of fatality.
So, unfortunately, it may come as no surprise that this past week another man lost his life to a train, this time traveling along Torey Pines State Beach. Witnesses say the 49-year-old man was walking along the tracks when an Amtrak Coaster approached last Sunday. It had been traveling north from Sorrento Valley to Solana Beach. Despite the warning whistles and bells that went off, he kept going down the tracks until it was too late.
The accident happened just around mile post marker 245.7 by the intersection of North Torrey Pines Road and Carmel Valley Road. San Diego Sheriff’s deputies took the call at 11:26 a.m. and declared him dead as soon as they arrived at 11:34 a.m.
Witnesses reported that the man had been walking in the middle of the tracks with his back to the train. Two other people originally accompanied him, though they abandoned the track when the train approached. Unfortunately, the emergency braking system was not enough to stop the train before the man was struck.
Crossing the tracks is a misdemeanor, meaning it’s never something you want to do. But you always need to pay attention any time a train is around. Nonetheless, had the man lived and not been judged at fault, he would have done well to hire an attorney. As more facts come forward about this tragedy, it may still be a good idea for his family to if there’s a wrongful death suit to be filed.