(La Conchita, California – October 16, 2012}
An as-yet unidentified man, who was walking his dog north along the corridor of the Pacific coast, Highway 101 and Union Pacific Railroad tracks, was killed Tuesday afternoon about 2:45 P.M. near La Conchita, CA by Amtrak’s northbound Coast Daylight passenger train when he successfully attempted to save his best friend, only to pay for it with his own life.
La Conchita is a seaside community, and the noise of both highway traffic and Pacific Ocean breakers could have contributed to the man’s inability to hear the train in time to save both his dog and himself. Sgt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said the victim did not appear to be wearing headphones or anything else that might have impaired his hearing, even though the Amtrak locomotive engineer sounded his engine’s horn, but could not stop the train in time to keep from hitting the victim.
Sgt. Buschow said witness statements led him to believe the death was the result of a tragic accident, and that an autopsy was pending with the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The man was declared dead at the scene while the dog scampered back to La Conchita, where officers would attempt to both identify the victim as well as notify his next-of-kin.
Two Amtrak trains and five Union Pacific freight trains operate through the rail corridor daily at a top speed of 55 mph.