Rescued: Pedestrian survives being struck by a train near Mossbrae Falls

Footage from the California Highway Patrol H-16 helicopter that airlifted a Dunsmuir man after he was hit by a Union Pacific train late Monday morning, February 18th, 2019. (Video Courtesy Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office)

Late Monday morning, a Dunsmuir pedestrian was hit by a Union Pacific train in the Mossbrae Falls area, which is located just northwest of Dunsmuir, California.

911 dispatch received the emergency call just after 11 a.m. yesterday, and Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office Deputies Mike Burns and Kelly Towers responded to the area, along with the Dunsmuir-Castella Volunteer Fire Department (DCVFD), Mt. Shasta City Fire Department, and Mt. Shasta Ambulance. First responders found the pedestrian, now identified as Kyle Hutchinson, 33, approximately 1.5 miles from the Shasta Retreat, which is located in the vicinity of the railroad tracks.

Hutchinson was injured from the collision with the train, but was alive and responsive when emergency crews arrived. SCSO deputies contacted the California Highway Patrol to request assistance from their H-16 helicopter crew. Hutchinson was hoisted from the scene by the CHP's H-16 crew and flown to Mercy Mt. Shasta Hospital for treatment.

“We are grateful Mr. Hutchinson survived this potentially fatal encounter with a moving train," Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said. "I would like to thank the involved deputies, medical and fire first responders, railroad personnel, and the expert and decisive actions of the CHP’s H-16 crew, which were instrumental in this safe, swift, and effective rescue effort."

After a preliminary investigation into the incident, authorities found that Hutchinson was new to the are and therefore unaware that the railroad tracks were in use at the time. Additionally, he was wearing headphones and listening to music while taking photographs leading up to the collision. In the moments before, Hutchinson heard and then saw the train approaching and stepped off of the tracks to avoid it, but the right-front part of the train still hit him.

"His evasive action prevented more serious and potentially fatal injuries," read a statement released by the SCSO regarding the incident.

According to the train crew, an audible warning horn was sounded several times prior to the collision. The Union Pacific train was moving at about 10 miles per hour at the time of the collision, heading north.

“The public is reminded that Mossbrae Falls is a great attraction and worth visiting, but citizens are reminded it is against the law to trespass on railroad property, including railroad tracks," Burns said. "Violations could result in a citation, arrest, and corresponding fines. Illegal incursions on railroad property potentially endanger the violator and train employees. Always pay attention to your surroundings as well and be alert for changing environmental conditions, including moving trains and audible signals.”

This case is still under investigation, and anyone with information is urged to contact Deputy Burns by contacting SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.

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