A distracted man attempting to cross a set of train tracks in Centralia narrowly missed being struck by an oncoming locomotive due to the actions of a stranger, according to the Centralia Police Department.
Just before 11:20 a.m. Wednesday, a homeless man was pushing a cart full of possessions across the train tracks at Main Street in Centralia when the cart got stuck and overturned, Officer William Phipps told The Chronicle.
“He was trying to retrieve that stuff and get off the tracks, but he didn’t see the train coming,” Phipps said.
A bystander ran onto the tracks and pulled the man to safety. Phipps said he didn’t witness the event, but other officers told him it was a close call.
Another person in the area, Derek Yost, said he saw the incident, but didn’t realize the man on the tracks didn’t know the train was coming.
“It was scary,” he said. “It was kind of like heartbreaking to see this guy.”
Phipps said people need to be cautious near train tracks.
“Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware trains can creep up on you despite their size,” he said.