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Two Killed in Unrelated Train Accidents in San Diego County

The McClellan Law Firm

In unrelated incidents, two men were struck and killed by freight trains in San Diego County, one on Thursday and one early Saturday.

The first accident took place Thursday evening in Carlsbad. According to witnesses, the 22-year-old victim was celebrating his sister's birthday at a nearby bar when he made a fatal mistake and tried to cross the tracks as a train was approaching.

Sherriff's Rail Enforcement deputies were called to the scene around 11:30pm, at Grand Avenue and State Street. According to reports, the accident took place on the northbound tracks, involving a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train.

Authorities have said that the crossing warning system appears to have been working properly at the time, and investigators are still considering whether alcohol or drugs may have been involved. Only a thorough investigation, however, will reveal exactly what circumstances contributed to this tragic occurrence.

The second incident, which has been deemed an apparent suicide, took place early Saturday on the combined passenger-freight tracks at the 900 block of South Coast Highway in Encinitas.

Witnesses said the 40-year-old man was sitting on the west rail of track number two, looking downward and holding his head in his hands. A northbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train approached and activated its horn and emergency brakes, but was unable to stop in time. The man was struck and killed at about 1:45am.

Authorities will investigate this incident as well, though early accounts make it appear to have been a suicide.

Train accidents are typically few and far between, but these two recent incidents bring about the question of pedestrian and passenger safety near railways. A freight train is a massive vehicle that can literally obliterate anything in its path. If pedestrians are not properly warned or security measures are not taken at train stations to keep people off the tracks, catastrophic accidents may occur.

At The McClellan Law Firm, we represent clients across San Diego in all types of personal injury and wrongful death claims, including those involving train accidents. If these incidents involve any type of negligence or wrongdoing on the part of train operators, freight companies, train station personnel or other parties, we can take legal action to help our clients seek justice. Derailments, train crossing accidents and other incidents have the potential to cause injury or death, sometimes involving numerous people.