A man suffered serious injuries from a
train-versus-pedestrian incident that occurred at the Union Pacific Railroad in
downtown Manteca during the early Friday morning commute.
The unidentified 23-year-old victim was taken by Manteca Ambulance to San Joaquin County Hospital where he is recovering. His injuries are not life-threatening, said Manteca Police watch commander Sgt. Patrick Danipour. He added that the victim was "coherent" prior to being transported to the hospital.
No other information as to what led to the 6 a.m. incident and other details were not available as of Friday afternoon. The investigation is continuing.
A witness who came upon the accident before any of the first responders arrived at the scene said that when he was trapped on the west side of the tracks on Center Street, he saw a person huddled on the ground on the side of the road near the crossing in fetal position, hands holding their head, and appeared very distressed. The anonymous witness, who needed to stop at the post office downtown on his way to work, said he could not tell whether the person was male or female or if he was the victim.
Manteca Fire Stations #1 and #2 responded to the morning incident so as to cover both sides of the railroad tracks at the Center and Yosemite Avenue crossings which were blocked by the train, and which prompted motorists to take nearby detours. The stations are located on either side of the Union Pacific tracks.
Previous incidents in Manteca involving train versus
pedestrian ended in tragedy.
In July of this year, an adult male was struck and killed by a northbound Union Pacific train at the South Main Street crossing downtown. The incident happened at 11 p.m. Manteca Police, who were nearby responding to another call, were immediately at the scene where they found the man in the center median on the north side of the tracks already deceased. Investigation indicated the man walked in front of the train as it was bearing down on the crossing. The train stopped after hitting the man.
It was the second railroad death in Manteca this year.
In January, a 28-year-old man was killed a half mile to the south when he was struck by a train along Moffat Boulevard west of the Spreckels Avenue/Industrial Park Drive crossing. Witnesses said the man who was killed appeared to be sleeping on the tracks.
According to the latest statistics, two
pedestrian-versus-train deaths occur in Manteca each year.
Last year, two deaths occurred at the Center Street and Spreckels Avenue/Moffat Boulevard crossings. A third fatality involved a teen who was hit by an Altamont Commuter Express train as he was trying to beat it across a train trestle near the gated Oakwood Shores neighborhood.
The majority of the train-versus-pedestrian deaths that occurred since 2008 have been classified as suicides. One incident involved a person who was under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
Last year Manteca Police Sgt. Lance Casqueiro was credited with pulling a suicidal man off the tracks at the Yosemite Avenue crossing literally seconds before a train would have struck him. About 15 years earlier, Manteca Police were also credited with making a similar save.
Several years ago, a Manteca resident driving westbound on Center Street on his way to work in Lathrop was stopped at the railroad crossing on Center Street and witnessed a suicidal man lay his head on the track rail seconds before the train came barreling down.
There are 13 at-grade railroad crossings in Manteca including nine on the Union Pacific’s main north-south route between Austin Road and Airport Way that typically sees frequent, fast moving train traffic.