Saturday, February 23, 2008

BNSF Train Runs Over Man Sitting On Tracks

A BNSF train crew got a nasty scare early this morning when their train ran over a man sitting on the tracks in Longmont. 9News.com reports,
LONGMONT – A 34-year-old man was expected to survive after being run over by a train early Saturday morning.

Longmont Police say Todd Hirsh was sitting in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks in the 400 block of Atwood Street at about 3:11 a.m. when the incident occurred.

According to police, a southbound train pulling 76 freight cars had to make an emergency stop, attempting to avoid running over Hirsh.

Authorities say the train didn't stop until it had gone 75 feet south of where Hirsh was sitting.

Longmont Firefighters and Paramedics were able to remove Hirsh out from under the second engine of the three engine train. He was then transported to Longmont United Hospital where his injuries were said to be non-life-threatening.

Police charged Hirsh with trespassing. They say, according to preliminary reports, Hirsh smelled like alcohol.
Alcohol or some other form of substance abuse is the only reason I can think of that would make someone consider sitting down between the rails. Hirsh is lucky, very lucky to have survived such stupidity. I hope he understands he survived for a reason, if only to warn others about the dangers of railroads.

History
The route itself is the original Colorado Central line between Longmont and the Union Pacific in Wyoming built in 1877. The town was built around the tracks and Atwood Street runs at grade on both sides with car traffic medians at intersections to divert traffic around the rails. Only 0.2 miles south of the accident, the tracks wye off for Lyons and Boulder to the west and Idaho Creek to the east, both lines eventually reaching Denver. The Colorado Central line from Ft. Collins to Boulder became C&S in 1899 and the Denver Utah & Pacific route between Idaho Creek and Lyons came under Chicago, Burlington & Quincy control. Both railroads were consolidated into the Burlington Northern.

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