A pedestrian talking on his cell phone while walking on the light rail tracks was struck by the Regional Transit Train #21 just after 10:00 a.m. this morning. The train operator told officers the train was “inbound” towards Sacramento after leaving the Iron Point Road Regional Transit Station. The train was exiting its first southbound turn just north of Highway 50 when it encountered the pedestrian on the tracks.
The operator, a 13 year Regional Transit employee with 1.5 years of operating experience, said the man was walking “outbound” towards Historic Folsom and towards the oncoming train with his head down, hat covering his eyes, and talking on his cellular telephone. The operator tried to avoid the collision, but the pedestrian was struck without ever looking up at the train.
The operator said after he stopped the train, he ran to the pedestrian who told the operator he had been walking on the tracks so that he could talk on his phone away from the road, where he’d get hit by a car. The twenty passengers spread amongst two cars were not injured and continued to their destination after a one hour delay. The track was closed to Folsom for several hours while investigators collected evidence.
The Folsom Fire Department treated the pedestrian for a 6″-8″ laceration to his calf, an open wound fracture to his femur (thigh bone), and an evisceration to his abdomen. The eighteen year old Citrus Heights resident was transported to the U.C. Davis Medical Center for treatment. He was in serious but stable condition by late afternoon.
The Sacramento Regional Transit and the Folsom Police would like remind people that it is never safe to use train tracks for anything other than riding the light rail train. Walking on or within 20 feet of train tracks is a violation of California Penal Code Section 369i.