BPD: Driver in stalled RV escaped to safety before train hit

Photo: Citizen reporter
A train struck a stalled RV on Thursday evening. Photo: Citizen reporter

Authorities responded to West Berkeley on Thursday evening after an Amtrak train struck an RV that had stalled on the tracks near Bancroft Way and Fourth Street.

One person, who was able to get out of the RV before it was hit by the train, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being struck by debris from the crash, police said.

Scroll to the bottom to see photos of the RV on Friday.

Reports about the crash began coming into Berkeleyside at 6:12 p.m. One reader on Twitter described “Multiple police cars flying west on University.” Another described “Lots of action on Bancroft and Fourth,” including the Berkeley Police and Fire departments.


Police confirmed on Twitter at 6:35 p.m. that a train had struck a vehicle. 

Photo: Citizen reporter
An RV stalled on the tracks Thursday evening, police said. Photo: Citizen reporter

Berkeley Police Lt. Dan Montgomery said, according to the preliminary investigation, the RV stalled on the track, but the driver was able to escape just before a northbound Amtrak train struck the vehicle.

The train spun the RV, and debris struck the driver, who was taken to the hospital by ambulance with serious injuries.

The Union Pacific Police are en route to investigate, clear the tracks and repair the guard arm, Montgomery said. The southbound tracks have been reopened.

Union Pacific has already had to respond to Berkeley at least twice this year for serious collisions involving trains. In February, one man was killed and another injured in West Berkeley due to two separate incidents involving trains.


That same month, the train crossing at Gilman was closed after a number of cars passing over the tracks ended up with punctured tires, according to authorities. Police found two large pieces of metal that were sticking up between the tracks. Union Pacific told BPD it believed a passing train had damaged the tracks.

Photo: Citizen reporter
Debris near the train tracks in West Berkeley. Photo: Citizen reporter

Update, March 4, 1 p.m. Sonya Mann was in West Berkeley and saw the RV on Friday. She shared these photographs. BPD said there wasn’t much new information available about the man who was hit, except that he was 37 and was alert at the scene when first responders got there.

Update, 4:30 p.m. BPD has just added that, just after the incident, when officers responded and then went to the hospital, “the victim was listed in serious but stable condition. We have had no updates since then.” No updates are expected until sometime next week, said Lt. Andrew Rateaver.

This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann
This RV was struck by a train Thursday night. The driver managed to escape the RV but sustained serious injuries from flying debris related to the crash. Photo: Sonya Mann

This post was updated shortly after publication due to the developing nature of the story.

Related:
Man injured after being struck by train on Berkeley tracks (02.23.16)
Update: Man dies after being struck by train in Berkeley (02.08.16)
Berkeley train crossing closed after car tires punctured (02.08.16)


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