A bicyclist suffered moderate injuries Wednesday when he was struck by a train near the Amtrak station in Santa Barbara, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.
The accident occurred at about 9:30 a.m. as the cyclist attempted to cross in front of the eastbound Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, which was pulling into the station, said fire Capt. Gary Pitney.
The man and his bike became tangled in the underside of the slow-moving train, and he was dragged for a distance, Pitney said, adding that he did not appear to have been run over by the train’s wheels.
The victim was conscious and alert, but had to extricated from underneath the train, which took about 20 minutes, Pitney said.
He was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of his injuries.
The Pacific Surfliner was delayed by the accident, and departed the station about 45 minutes late, according to Amtrak.
The crew did not need to be switched out, which usually happens after a fatal train collision, Amtrak district manager Carol Crego said.
The train’s engineer was already braking when coming into the station, but hit the emergency brake to slow down even more once he saw the bicyclist, she said.
Apparently the bicyclist told authorities he didn’t look before crossing the tracks, and by the time he did, it was too late and he was sucked under the train, Crego said.
It’s rare train collisions don’t result in fatalities immediately, and Crego said the trains have collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists very often.
“We’ve had some ugly ones here,” she said.
Noozhawk Staff Writer Giana Magnoli reported from the scene.