An unidentified man suffered a broken arm when he was struck by a Caltrain on Thursday morning near Second Avenue, but he survived the impact.
Just after 7:30 a.m., the man was walking southbound along the railroad tracks, just south of the San Mateo Caltrain station. A train approached from behind him and the conductor blared his horn, but the man didn’t step away from the tracks, according to Jonah Weinberg, spokesman for the San Mateo County Transit District.
"He didn’t hear the train, and it hit him," Weinberg said.
Police told Weinberg that the man may have been wearing headphones, but the San Mateo County Transit Police did not return calls requesting clarification.
The man was transported to a local hospital to treat the broken limb.
The stretch of track where he was hit runs behind buildings in downtown San Mateo and is protected by fences on either side. People rarely walk along the tracks there, according to Greg Zimmerman at B Street Music, whose storefront faces the tracks.
"Most people know better than to go on the tracks," Zimmerman said, adding that the rail horn is so loud, he doesn’t believe anyone could avoid hearing it.
The accident happened just two days after a woman in San Bruno narrowly escaped injury when she drove around a lowered rail barrier and an oncoming train struck her Subaru Baja.
Nine people have been killed on the train tracks this year, including two apparent suicides and four accidents. Fatih Kuc, a 13-year-old Burlingame resident, was killed while walking on the tracks. Some witnesses say he was wearing headphones when he was struck. This year, 191 people have been cited for trespassing on the tracks, according to a report from SamTrans.