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Man in stable condition after being hit by train

By: Don Chaddock, Gold Country News Service
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An 18-year-old Citrus Heights man was hit by a light rail train while allegedly walking on the tracks Monday shortly after 10 a.m. According to Jason Browning, spokesman for the Folsom Police Department, the young man was taken to UC Davis Medical Center after the train "clipped" him. The Folsom Fire Department treated the pedestrian for an 8-inch laceration to his calf, an open wound fracture to his femur (thigh bone), and an evisceration to his abdomen, Browning said. The accident occurred near Folsom Boulevard and The Outlets. The man was talking on his cell phone while walking on the track to avoid being struck by a car, according to Browning. The train operator reported the man was walking toward the train, with his hat down over his eyes. The operator reportedly blew his horn multiple times, but the man did not get out of the way, according to Browning. The train, Regional Transit Train 21, was "inbound" toward Sacramento after leaving the Iron Point Road station at the time of the accident. The operator, whose name is not being released, is a 13-year employee with Regional Transit. According to Browning, the man was walking toward Historic Folsom and the oncoming train. The man had his head down, hat covering his eyes and talking on his cell phone. The pedestrian was struck without every looking up at the train, Browning said. The man reportedly told the operator after the accident that he was walking on the tracks to avoid being hit by a car in the road. The 20 passengers on two rail cars were not injured and continued to their destination after an hour delay. The track was closed to Folsom for several hours while investigators collected evidence, Browning said. The young man is reported to be "in serious but stable" condition. Browning said it is never safe to use train tracks for anything other than riding the light rail train and that walking on or within 20 feet of train tracks is a violation of California Penal Code Section 369i.