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Train hitchhiker hurt trying to jump off


One of two men who hitched a ride on a freight train traveling through Bend suffered non-life-threatening injuries early Thursday when his leg got tangled in the train car’s coupling as they tried to jump off, authorities said.

The unidentified man was unable to free himself for about 10 minutes. Once his leg was freed, the pair jumped off the train near Opal Lane in the Culver area and went to the nearest house to get help, said Jefferson County sheriff’s Patrol Capt. Marc Heckathorn.

Deputies were dispatched to the area around 3:50 a.m. on a report of a person struck by a train, Heckathorn said. Medics from the Redmond Fire Department arrived around the same time as deputies and found the man had an injured ankle, along with various cuts and scrapes, he said.

An investigation found the two men had climbed aboard the freight train traveling through Bend “in an effort to cross town,” Heckathorn said in a news release.

Redmond medics took the injured man to St. Charles Redmond for treatment. Heckathorn said the incident was being referred to BNSF Railway officials for potential criminal charges.

“This matter could have ended much worse for everyone involved,” Heckathorn wrote, “and we remind everyone that all railroads are private property and to stay clear of the tracks.”

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas echoed those comments:

“Trespassing is illegal,” he said, “and the BNSF internal police force is actively issuing citatons” in such cases.

“We encourage public to be awre of danger at all times,” Melonas said.

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