A Washoe County man was badly injured Saturday afternoon as he attempted to beat a speeding train across a bridge near Lockwood.
Storey County Sheriff's Deputies say he suffered injuries to his head, arms, and legs after being struck by a cargo train. Authorities say the train had been traveling at least 50 MPH.
The victim was put into a helicopter right off the tracks and Care-flighted to Washoe Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.
Storey County Sheriff's Office Crpl. Jason Dias says although the Union Pacific crew aboard the train did see the man trying to beat the train across the tracks, fishing pole in hand, it would have been impossible for the conductor to stop in time.
"[At] that size you cannot slow down," Dias says. "Takes a good amount of distance. A half mile to stop a train that size."
In the meantime, a family member was fishing in the same area, on the Washoe County side of the Truckee River. He saw the whole accident, but was too shaken up to talk to News Channel 8.
Officials say an accident happens much too often when the weather starts to warm up.
"It's a popular place," Dias says. " We get multiple reports each year of people fishing in the area. Having crossed the tracks and getting caught without notice."
James Steiner, News Channel 8.
Photography by Photojournalist Ray Kinney