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Ill. man loses legs after being struck by train

Abbott EMS personnel faced a man who had both legs amputated after being run over by train

By Tony Reid
Herald & Review

DECATUR, Ill. — A Decatur man was recovering in hospital Monday after having both his legs severed when he was run over by a train.

Police, firefighters and Abbott EMS first responders fought to save the 35-year-old victim after being called to the railroad crossing on North Edward Street near West Sawyer Street at 8 p.m. Sunday.

“When emergency personnel arrived the subject, a 35-year-old male, was discovered with both legs having been amputated as a result of the incident,” the Decatur Police Department said in a news release.

“Lifesaving efforts, including tourniquet application, were performed, along with removing the subject from under the train. The injured male was transported to Decatur Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery. As of the last update, the male was expected to survive.”

The news release said the train crew had seen the man lying on the tracks and immediately started emergency stop procedures to try and halt the train before it hit him.

Reviewing the trauma lethal triad: hypothermia, acidosis and coagulopathy

“Unfortunately, the train was unable to be stopped before striking the subject,” police said. “Railroad personnel immediately contacted 911 and attempted to locate the subject after coming to a stop.”

Lt. Erik Ethell told the Herald & Review the tragic incident appeared to be an accident of some kind and there was no suggestion of any crime.

“Not at this time, but it is still under investigation,” Ethell added. He said police were working to understand how the man came to be on the tracks when he was hit by the train.

The incident triggers memories of John Evans, a 47-year-old Decatur man who had his left arm and right hand torn off and mutilated beyond repair when he was hit by a train on Aug. 16, 1994.

Surgeons managed to sew his surviving left hand onto his right arm in an extraordinary operation that left him with one partially working hand. His story and recovery attracted nationwide attention.

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