2013-07-26 / Front Page

Boy, 15, struck by train in Moorpark

Local teen in serious condition
By Dawn Witlin

A 15-year-old Moorpark resident was taken to the hospital Wednesday in serious condition after being struck by an Amtrak passenger train near Spring Road that afternoon.

Police said the train was traveling west through Moorpark at 70 mph when conductors saw the teen and applied the emergency brake. It is not know what speed the train was traveling when it hit the youth.

“ The train was coming through a sweeping right-hand curve when two engineers both noticed the pedestrian walking on the side of the railroad tracks,” said Moorpark Senior Dep. Nolan Stoyko. “The engineers went into full emergency braking mode and sounded the train’s air horn, but there was no reaction from the pedestrian.”

Moorpark police, the Ventura County Fire Department and American Medical Response paramedics responded to the accident.

The teen was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken by ambulance to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

“This particular young man was very lucky in a sense, and if there is any good news to this, he wasn’t walking in the middle of the tracks, he was walking along the side of the railroad ties,” Stoyko said.

“ It appears his body was slightly pushed by the wind force by the oncoming train before being impacted more by the side of the train. If he was hit head-on by the train, he wouldn’t be with us today.”

The railroad tracks were shut down in both directions for about an hour and a half while officers investigated the accident.

No passengers or crew members were injured on the train during the accident.

The train passengers and personnel on board continued on to their San Luis Obispo destination after the investigation was finished.

It is illegal for pedestrians to trespass on a rail line or railroad property, but police said it not known whether the injured youth will be cited for the accident.

“It is definitely not a good idea to be walking on or near the property of a railway track,” Stoyko said. “A lot of times, people will do that as a shortcut through town, but because of the speed that these passenger trains are allowed through town, you don’t hear or see the train, especially if it is coming from behind you, until it’s basically on top of you and there is not enough time to react.”

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