A train accident has devastated the Del Mar community after a pedestrian was killed earlier this month. According to Fox 5 San Diego, the Coaster train was headed south when it struck the pedestrian just before 6 a.m. near 15th Street in Del Mar.
According to Fox 5 San Diego (3/12/2015), officials say the train operator sounded a horn to alert the pedestrian of its oncoming ascent, but the pedestrian was said to be unresponsive to the signal. Sadly, the train struck the pedestrian, causing fatal injury. The individual was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Service was stopped between the Santa Fe Depot and the Solana Beach Station for two hours while investigators responded to the accident.
The San Diego Sheriff’s office continues to investigate the accident.
YOUR SAFETY AROUND SAN DIEGO TRAINS
There’s something about a train that seems familiar, almost safe. After all, unlike a car, you can generally see a train coming from literally a mile away, so it seems like anyone could respond appropriately in the event of an emergency.
But don’t let the illusion of safety fool you. Trains can be just as dangerous if not worse than approaching vehicles.
Most people don’t think about train safety, but we ask that you indeed think twice. Here’s what you need to know about trains and your well-being.
USE A CROSSWALK AT ALL TIMES
In addition to traffic safety, we ask that all San Diegans use designated crosswalks at all times, even if it is more convenient to cross tracks. The tricky thing with sound is that it can be diffused by landscaping, tall trees and white noise such as traffic or water. Sadly, you may never hear the horn of a train as it makes that turn in the bend, unexpectedly coming straight toward you. Cross using a public crossing such as a crosswalk, crossbuck, gate or another designated roadway crossing. Plus, if you cross elsewhere, you can be fined and/or ticketed.
DON’T HANG OUT AT RAIL YARDS
If you live close to a rail yard, it may be tempting to walk over and see the action firsthand. But we urge you to avoid walking in or around any rail yard. It is also considered trespassing so just stay away.
IT TAKES A MILE TO STOP A TRAIN
Incredible – it takes nearly one mile to bring a train to a complete stop. If a train operator sees you ahead, he or she may attempt to stop the train but it is unlikely it will stop in time.
DON’T WALK ALONGSIDE A TRAIN TRACK, EITHER
For those who commute by foot to and from work, it may be tempting to walk along the tracks because it may be a more direct route or it is quieter than busy traffic streets. You should know, though, that trains overhang the tracks by at least three feet on either side. There may also be appendages like handrails that extend even further. Don’t use the tracks to commute by foot. Choose a safer route –a designated walking path is a better choice if you can find one.
MULTIPLE TRAINS CAN PASS
If you think it’s safe to cross because you just saw the train go by, think again. In many cases, two trains can be following within close distance or one another. In addition, there may be another train coming from the opposite direction. Train directions can be changed by operators and railway engineers depending on the destination and train schedule. Don’t risk it – simply use a designated crossing area.
ABOUT THE LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL PINES, APC
Michael Pines is the founder of the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC in San Diego, California. Along with partner Aaron Solomon, the firm is a leader in representing those injured in accidents. Our offices have helped people just like you who need legal representation following an accident. Give us a call today and speak to a personal injury lawyer: 1-858-551-2090. Our consultation is FREE.