A train collided with a pedestrian in Del Mar Friday, and by a miracle, the pedestrian somehow survived, officials with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) confirmed.
The crash happened around 12:10 p.m. on the bluffs near 12th Street and Camino Del Mar, on the railroad tracks at milepost marker 244.2.
The SDSO said a southbound Amtrak train was traveling at approximately 50 mph when the engineer spotted a pedestrian – a jogger – running near the tracks between 12th and 15th streets.
The jogger was off to the side, jogging in the same direction of the train and didn't know it was coming until it hit him, invetigators said. The Amtrak engineer tried to stop the train, but he was unable to stop, crashing into the jogger.
Sgt. Jason King, of the SDSO’s Transit Enforcement Unit, said the impact from the hit threw the jogger off the bluffs, about 40 feet into rocks and brush below.
Emergency crews were able to rescue the jogger and bring him to ambulance waiting to take him to the hospital.
Deputies said the jogger suffered unspecified injuries and was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. As of 3:15 p.m., the jogger’s condition was unknown, but he was expected to survive his injuries, officials said.
King said the jogger is alive by the “grace of God.”
The sergeant said the incident should serve as a reminder to all joggers and pedestrians in the area to stay off the tracks. The SDSO said people crossing the tracks in that area is a major concern, and people are often cited for it. There are many signs along the tracks warning pedestrians not to trespass.
The collision is under investigation. It is unknown, at this point, if the jogger was wearing earbuds or headphones at the time of the crash.
At 12:30 p.m. the North County Transit District (NCTD) said train traffic through Del Mar would be delayed, for now, due to police activity near the site of the collision. The NCTD said a bus bridge would begin shortly at its Sorrento Valley Station for COASTER train passengers making all stops northbound.
At 1 p.m., the NCTD said COASTER 645 northbound would be canceled at the Sorrento Valley Station, and buses would continue to transport passengers along the route, making all stops northbound.
Since February 2015, the SDSO said there have been 17 train collisions on the tracks in the SDSO’s jurisdiction.
In an unrelated incident earlier this week, a bicyclist died after being struck by a trolley on the tracks in Barrio Logan at Harbor Drive and Sampson Street. In that case, which occurred in the jurisdiction of the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), the bicyclist was wearing earbuds, and investigators believe he did not see the train.