(Planada, California – June 6, 2011)
A 23-year-old California man’s attempt to chase his dog from harm’s way on Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks Monday evening about 6:30 P.M. resulted in the tragic death for both the man and his best friend.
The engineer of Amtrak’s “San Joaquin”, travelling at 70 miles per hour with 146 passengers on board, first saw the dog enter the tracks and then saw the victim follow the animal. The tragedy occurred about 40 feet beyond the East Childs Avenue crossing of BNSF tracks in Planada, CA, and the Bakersfield-Oakland, CA train took 200 yards to stop after the impact.
Investigators found the bodies of both the man and the dog near the tracks. Although several of the victim’s family came to the scene, authorities still did not release his name. Planada resident Delores Vasquez commented at the scene of the double tragedy that “There’s a lot of deaths on these tracks. I feel they are cursed!”