Kansas man hit by freight train, walks away

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by ABC News

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 8:16 PM

(ABC News) -- For someone to survive being hit by a train is a stroke of luck. For someone to be able to get up and walk away from that is nothing short of a miracle.

Kristopher Wenberg, 25, defied the odds after he was struck by a freight train on Thursday evening while walking on the tracks in Topeka, Kan., police said.

The train’s crew spotted him with his back turned to them and sounded the train’s horn while applying the emergency brake system, according to the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office. Wenberg didn’t seem to notice the signal and was hit, but incredibly sustained only minor injuries to his leg and shoulder, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

ABC News was unable to reach Wenberg for a comment, but he told local authorities that he was listening to headphones when the incident occurred.

After being hit, the crew reported seeing Wenberg walk away from the scene and make a phone call. Shortly afterwards, he was picked up by a private car and escorted to a hospital in Topeka, authorities said.

Wenberg’s family told ABC News that he was released this morning.

The freight train was operated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Corp. A company representative told ABC News that it will not discuss the issue other than to say they are currently investigating it.

Brian J. Bartholomew, a retired conductor who worked for BNSF for over 40 years, told ABC News that he has never heard of a pedestrian being able to walk away from a collision with a freight train.

Wenberg may have survived the incident with only minor injuries, but police said he will still be charged with criminal trespass for walking on the railroad tracks without permission.

 

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