Man Hit By Train Going 110 MPH: How Did Darryle See Survive With Only 'Minor Injuries'?
A man hit by a train outside of Michigan City, Indiana, on Friday escaped with only minor injuries.
Darryle See, 22, was struck by a Chicago-bound train travelling 110 mph as he walked the tracks while listening to music on his headphones. The train blew its horn several times, but See was unable to hear the horn over his music. Though the conductor applied the train's brakes, it still barreled into See at over a hundred miles an hour. The train sent him 20 feet from the tracks, with one of See's shoes landing 150 feet away from him.
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''The conductor said it was a straight-on hit,'' said LaPorte County police officer John Boyd, who said that in his 20 years on the job he's never heard of someone surviving being hit by a train.
But Boyd speculated that See might not have been struck head-on.
"My guess is, if you look at the design of the front of this train, there are quite a few angles," Boyd said. "It could have been an angle that threw him off to the side."
Boyd said that See was conscious and alert when police arrived, sitting up and talking to the officer. See was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital in Michigan City, then by helicopter to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where a plate was inserted into his neck.
See's grandmother, Helen Hugley, said Saturday that she wasn't sure of the extent of See's injuries, but that in addition to his neck injury, See suffered ''one or two'' pelvic fractures.
''I'm doing OK. Not terrific, but I'm doing OK,'' See said in a phone call this morning. He remains hospitalized.
Getting hit by the train at an angle is the most plausible explanation for how See might have survived the impact. The train had an angled front, and if he was hit by the train at an angle and not straight on, that would have deflected the force of the impact. The force of an object is most damaging to a person's body when it is concentrated in a small area -- the difference between stepping on a nail, which is undoubtedly painful, and lying on a bed of nails, which is possible.
Whatever occurred on the tracks on Friday, it may be easiest to explain it the way See's grandmother has.
"I would definitely call it a miracle," she said.
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