San Diego

Woman in Wheelchair Struck by Train When Wheel Becomes Stuck in Track: Witnesses

A train could not stop with enough time to avoid striking a woman in a wheelchair who appeared to be stuck on the tracks in Mission Hills Wednesday, witnesses told NBC 7. 

A man was pushing the woman in the wheelchair across the train tracks near Washington Street and Pacific Coast Highway at about 7:40 a.m. when her wheel became stuck on the tracks, according to the man. 

As he was shuffling to free the chair's wheel from the tracks, the woman fell out of the chair. At that moment North County Transit District's (NCTD) northbound Coaster 638 was approaching, according to Alicia McElwaine-Leto, who said she witnessed the crash.

The man waved his hands and shouted at the train to stop, and while the coaster was able to slow, it struck the woman before it could come to a halt, McElwaine-Leto said.

The woman landed face down and was bleeding but appeared to be conscious after the crash, McElwaine-Leto said. 

The San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSO) said she was transported to the hospital but her condition was not known. 

The man said that the train did the best it could to stop and if it hadn't slowed down she could have been more severely hurt. 

Service on the tracks were halted affecting Amtrak's Pacific Surfliners and coasters until about 9 a.m. when tracks were reopened. 

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