DUNSMUIR, Calif. — Personnel from multiple agencies rushed to the aid of a man struck by a train near the town of Dunsmuir in Siskiyou County on Monday, potentially saving the man's life.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) received a 911 call reporting the train versus pedestrian accident near Mossbrae Falls just after 11 a.m. Two deputies, plus local volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel from Mt. Shasta all responded to the area.
Responders found 33-year-old Kyle Hutchinson of Dunsmuir about 1.5 miles from the Shasta Retreat near the railroad tracks, SCSO said. Hutchinson was injured, but alive and responsive. He'd been struck by a Union Pacific train.
"A preliminary investigation into the incident determined Mr. Hutchinson was new to the area and was not aware the railroad tracks were in use at the time," SCSO said in a statement. "He was also wearing headphones, listening to music, and taking photographs at the time of the incident."
Investigators think that Hitchinson eventually heard the train and tried to get off the tracks. He was still struck by the front-right side of the moving train, "but his evasive action prevented more serious and potentially fatal injuries."
"According to the preliminary investigation, the Union Pacific train was moving at about 10 MPH at the time of the collision, in a northerly direction. According to the train crew, an audible warning horn was sounded several times prior to the collision," SCSO said.
Crews on the scene called in a H-16 helicopter crew from California Highway Patrol (CHP) to airlift Hutchinson to a hospital. In the meantime, firefighters and ambulance crews rendered emergency medical aid. Hutchinson was hoisted up and flown to Mercy Mt. Shasta Hospital for more treatment.
“The public is reminded that Mossbrae Falls is a great attraction and worth visiting but citizens are reminded it is against the law to trespass on railroad property, including railroad tracks. Violations could result in a citation, arrest, and corresponding fines," said SCSO Deputy Mike Burns. "Illegal incursions on railroad property potentially endanger the violator and train employees. Always pay attention to your surroundings as well and be alert for changing environmental conditions, including moving trains and audible signals.”
"We are grateful Mr. Hutchinson survived this potentially fatal encounter with a moving train," said Sheriff Lopey.