Sheriff’s Deputies Respond to Train vs. Pedestrian Incident
On Monday, February 18, 2019, at about 11:04 a.m., the Siskiyou County Sheriffs’ Office (SCSO) received an emergency “9-1-1” call for a train versus pedestrian accident, which occurred in vicinity of Mossbrae Falls, located just northwest of Dunsmuir. SCSO 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. A male adult, later identified as Mr. Kyle Hutchinson, 33, of Dunsmuir, was located approximately 1.5 miles from the Shasta Retreat, in vicinity of the railroad tracks.
The pedestrian (Hutchinson) sustained injuries as a result of the reported impact with a Union Pacific train but was alive and responsive. SCSO deputies contacted the California Highway Patrol (CHP) H-16 helicopter crew and requested assistance with the injured man. Emergency medical aid was provided at the scene by Mt. Shasta Ambulance personnel and DCVFD firefighters. A about 12:50 a.m., Mr. Hutchinson was hoisted from the scene by the CHP’s H-16 helicopter crew. He was flown to Mercy Mt. Shasta Hospital for further treatment.
A preliminary investigation into the incident determined Mr. Hutchinson was new to the area and was not aware the railroad tracks were in use at the time. He was also wearing headphones, listening to music, and taking photographs at the time of the incident. At some point the man heard and saw the train approaching and stepped off the track but the right-front portion of the train still made impact with Mr. Hutchinson but his evasive action prevented more serious and potentially fatal injuries. According to the preliminary investigation, the Union Pacific train was moving at about 10 MPH at the time of the collision, in a northerly direction. According to the train crew, an audible warning horn was sounded several times prior to the collision.
According to Deputy Burns, “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. 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.”
According to Sheriff Lopey, “We are grateful Mr. Hutchinson survived this potentially fatal encounter with a moving train. 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. I would also like to thank the emergency room staff at the Mercy Mt. Shasta Hospital for their exceptional efforts to treat and care for Mr. Hutchinson. 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.”