PALMDALE – A 50-year-old transient walked away after being hit by a freight train in Palmdale late Tuesday night, authorities said.
The incident happened around 11:45 p.m. on the tracks near Sierra Highway and Palmdale Boulevard, according to Palmdale Community Relations Deputy Robbie Royster.
Royster said a conductor and an engineer were the only two people aboard the freight train, which was traveling southbound, approaching Palmdale Boulevard, at about 38 miles per hour.
“About a quarter of a mile away, they actually saw the individual standing on the tracks,” Royster said. “They began sounding the horn and the individual looked at the train conductor and saw the train coming and still didn’t move off the tracks. That’s when they started trying to stop the train as quickly and as safely as they could, however, there was no way that they could do it that fast.”
Royster said the man tried to scramble off the tracks at the last second, but it was too late.
“He wasn’t full on hit,” Royster said. “It appeared that he tried to jump away at the last minute, but some part of him was struck by the train.”
The conductor contacted the Palmdale Station for help, but by the time authorities got to the scene, the man was nowhere to be found.
“Deputies searched the initial area along the railroad tracks on Palmdale Boulevard but they were unable to find a victim,” Royster said. “They expanded their search, at which time, at 6th Street East and Avenue R, they located the victim.”
The man appeared dazed and confused and was bleeding from his head.
“He was suffering from a head wound, lacerations on the right side of his scalp, and [there were] some complaints of back pain,” Royster said.
The man was treated at the scene and then transported to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he was put under 72-hour psychiatric observation, Royster said.
“We have had a couple of incidents along the railroads,” Royster said. “Certain individuals, when they want to hurt themselves, have attempted to step in front of a train or not move from the tracks when the train comes by.”