Man loses leg in train accident at Gilman St. in Berkeley

The Union Pacific railroad crossing at Gilman. Photo: Google Maps

The Union Pacific railroad crossing at Gilman. Photo: Google Maps

A man who was struck by a train Monday at the Union Pacific railroad crossing at Gilman Street in West Berkeley lost his leg as a result, authorities said.

Few details have been available from officials so far this week.

Berkeleyside readers alerted us to the incident, reporting “a very large number” of Berkeley Police and Berkeley Fire vehicles at the train tracks at Gilman on Monday morning, and said the roadway was closed down in both directions.

Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb said, in a written statement, that Berkeley firefighters were called to the scene at about 10:40 a.m. Monday for a report of a man who had been struck by a train at Gilman. The man lost a leg in the accident and was taken to the Trauma Center at Highland Hospital for medical care. An update on his condition was not available Tuesday afternoon.

Calli Hite, an Omaha-based spokeswoman for Union Pacific, said she couldn’t provide much detail due to the on-going investigation. She said there had been a report of a trespasser on Union Pacific property, and that the individual had been taken to the hospital after a “train-related injury.”

She said there were several witnesses to the incident, and that the investigation remains active.

Related:
Good Samaritans recount Berkeley train amputation (10.11.13)

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  • FiatSlug

    I also hope the man is okay. It seems likely to me that the person in question probably had earphones or headphones on and could not hear the approaching train.

    Every once in a while I read a story about a teenager who was killed on train tracks because they were using earphones or headphones and could not hear the approaching train, even though the train was sounding its horn.

  • Horseswaggled

    Ran down like a dog at a public crossing by a greedy railroad is not trespassing so change the jury tampering statement.

    According to national stats drivers with brakes and steering had like two deaths in the same 190 million train miles as Union Pacific with 133 deaths last year. How do the states/Feds hide the truth so well?

    SELECTION: RAILROAD – Union Pacific RR Co. [UP ] / January TO December, 2012

    TOTAL ACCIDENTS/INCIDENTS: 1,714 Total train miles: 167,573,536

    Switching miles: 22,033,346

    Total miles about 190,000,000

    Total fatalities: 133

    Total nonfatal conditions: 982

    Employee hours: 94,975,156

    Killed at crossings-49

    Injured at crossings-209

    Killed pedestrians-74

    Injured pedestrians-97

    Killed workers- 5

    Injurered workers-524

  • Name

    wow you really hate trains? your comment history is all spam about how horrible you think trains are.

  • BBnet3000

    Those would have to be some very serious headphones.

    Not to mention the clanking gates at Gilman, which can be heard quite easily at the Amtrak station at University Ave. If he was crossing AT Gilman, those gates also drop down across the road (maybe not the sidewalk itself, i dont remember) and feature flashing lights.

    PSA: Look both ways before crossing any type of road, including a rail road.

  • guest

    Railroad tracks are private property and walking on them is indeed trespassing.

    You may have legitimate concerns about railroad safety but someone crossing the railroad tracks at Gilman by foot when the lights are flashing and the gates are down is not using prudent judgement.

    We don’t know the details on this particular accident yet. I haven’t heard any statements that the gates were not down nor the lights flashing. There were witnesses to the accident so perhaps we’ll learn more.

    This person may have been hearing impaired, or impaired by drugs or alcohol, or wearing headphones. He may have been walking along the tracks or attempting to cross them. It’s very likely that he was responsible for his being on the tracks at that time and he had the ability to make a different choice. I’m sorry he lost his leg but I also feel real sorry for the train driver.

  • Doug F

    You’re irrational These accidents are never the train driver’s fault, as long as he sounded the horn. The tracks are fenced off, & the crossing at Gilman (which the victim was apparently some distance from) has crossing gates with flashing lights & ringing bells. The only question is whether the victim was suicidal, insane, heavily intoxicated, or listening to headphones at deafening volume & paying no attention to anything around him.

    Vehicles that can brake much harder & steer kill far more pedestrians.

  • skeetra

    Um…yeah…stopping a 100 ton train when you see a pedestrian 30 feet away has got to be SO easy. This must a conspiracy.

  • TN

    The released facts are pretty thin, so it is hard to know for sure what happened or why. But the crossings in Berkeley have a “ghost train” problem and have had it for many years. People who cross the track have become very habitually complacent about it.

    A “ghost train” is when the warning lights flash, the bells ring and the crossing gate comes down and then go back to normal without a train passing by. This happens each time a AMTRAK California train stops at the University Avenue Berkeley station. For instance if a train is coming from Martinez towards Berkeley to stop, not only will the gates come down at crossings like Hearst before the station, the gates will also come down at Addison and at Bancroft past the station. The train stops at University and the gates rise at Addison and Bancroft without a train having gone by. Once the train is moving again, the gates come down again. It works similarly in the opposite direction. I’ve seen people, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians become very casual about this and cross while the gates are down.

    This is happening because Union Pacific has not reworked their signalling system to account for the AMTRAK California stops. And it feeds the impatience of those trying to cross.

  • Horseswaggled

    Evidence let go

    1. The train has video of this — a public paid for thing —Where is the video??? The railroad has it at the dub studio.

    2. The train had a event recorder of brakes,lights, horns, etc…public paid for with humongous overcharges—Where are the event recorder readings??? The railroad has it at the dub studio.

    3. The crossing signal housing has a event recorder with gate operation —.public paid for with humongous overcharges—Where is the crossing house readings? The railroad has it at the dub studio.

    4. The crossing maintainer has a hand held that would show if the automated signals were calling him/her to come fix them. Where is the hand held??? The railroad has it at the dub studio.

    5. The drug/alcohol tests on the train crew are? NONE DONE

    6. The railroad control center recording is? The railroad has it at the dub studio.

  • Horseswaggled

    A false clear is not impatience but signal failure murder. The FEDS knowing the problem and doing nothing call it “transient gate openings.”

  • Horseswaggled

    Fenced off? Look at the picture dip —NO fences —NO signs—NO video survellience—NO railroad look out towers—NO sign of the two UP cops for security in the state being outran.

    Train drivers need checked for Stockholm Syndrone being buffaloed into thinking it’s OK to run people down like dogs.

  • emraguso

    For those of you who are interested we updated this story here:
    http://www.berkeleyside.com/2013/10/11/good-samaritans-recount-berkeley-train-amputation/

  • Mel Content

    Fenced off? Look at the picture —NO fences —NO signs—NO video
    survellience—NO railroad look out towers—NO sign of the two UP cops
    for security in the state being outran.

    There is a set of railroad tracks, and most people with half a brain realize that trains do run on railroad tracks. The rails there are nice and shiny from constant use, so it’s not exactly like it is some abandoned siding to some long-ago closed business.

  • Dre Hund

    The man in question is a genius with many afflictions including homelessness. He is a Cornell Physics grad diagnosed with powerful disorders. Mark is a very live wire…a handful, extremely passionate and always close to the edge. Sometimes the meds aren’t right, or are forgotten in the stream of electricity that runs rampant in him. This is a nightmare for him. He was and is a very rare soul.

  • emraguso

    Did you see our update here? http://www.berkeleyside.com/2013/10/11/good-samaritans-recount-berkeley-train-amputation
    I was sorry to see this was Mark — I’ve seen him at numerous city meetings and enjoyed a conversation or two with him. Definitely seems like a unique, kind and passionate person. I’m wishing him well.

  • bsaunders

    That sounds to me like the numerous “car accidents” that are really suicides.