A woman struck by a train in Del Mar Friday night was injured but somehow managed to escape death, officials confirmed.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) said that just before 8 p.m., a northbound Coaster train traveling at approximately 50 mph hit a woman on the railroad tracks at milepost marker 244.4 on the bluffs in Del Mar near the 100 block of 12th Street.
According to investigators, the train engineer saw the woman walking onto the tracks. The engineer applied the train’s emergency braking system but was unable to stop the train. The Coaster, which was en route to Oceanside, plowed into the pedestrian.
She suffered unspecified injuries but survived, deputies said. Witnesses reported the woman was sitting up and talking after the crash and was dazed but conscious.
She was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital. As of 10 a.m. Saturday, her condition is unknown. No one on the train was harmed in the collision.
The North County Transit District (NCTD) said train service in the area was delayed for about an hour due to the collision.
The SDSO’s Transit Enforcement Unit is investigating the incident and officials said it appeared to be an accident and not a case of attempted suicide.
“She was just walking along the railroad tracks,” SDSO Sgt. Jason King explained.
He said the area was very dark, which limited how much witnesses were actually able to see in the moments before the woman was hit.
He said the woman was walking by herself.
King told NBC 7 that, despite several “No Trespassing” signs along the tracks by the bluffs, accidents like this continue to happen because people can’t seem to keep off the tracks.
“At this point, the message we have to get out to people is you have to stay away from the tracks. They’re not the place to be walking along. These trains are moving along – they’re not very loud – when they’re not on that horn, they move fairly quietly,” King told NBC 7.
This is the second such accident on the same stretch of railroad tracks in the past month. In a similar incident in March, a jogger was struck by a train and thrown off the bluffs but also somehow survived.
The SDSO said that from February 2015 to Friday night’s incident, there have been 18 train collisions on the railroad tracks in the SDSO’s jurisdiction.
Anyone with information on this case can call the SDSO’s non-emergency line at (858) 565-5200.