Police: Bicyclist awake, alert after being hit by train

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — A bicyclist is awake and alert after being critically injured when he was struck and caught under a freight train earlier this week, according a Washington state hospital spokesman.

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center spokesman Randy Querin said Thursday that Cowlitz County resident Rudy Newton, 56, of Kelso was in satisfactory condition with normal vital signs, The Daily News reported.

A BNSF Railway train operator reported that a bicyclist was pinned under a train around 11 p.m., Kelso Police Sgt. Kevin Tate said, adding that train employees said they braked and came to a stop after seeing something on the tracks.

“The information that officers received right away was that there was a collision between a person and a train,” Tate said. “They got there and they found a bicycle that had been struck by a stopped train.”

Newton was found under the train and was taken to St. John Medical Center and then transferred to PeaceHealth Southwest, authorities said. However, Newton told authorities he was not struck by the train.

“Prior to being transported, he denied even being hit by a train,” Tate said. “He didn’t know why he was laying on the tracks or actually between the rails of the track at the time of the collision."

Newton was trespassing but officials have yet to decide if it's “just and fair to charge him for a crime," Tate said. The Kelso Police Department has deferred the case to BNSF law enforcement officers.

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