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Drunken Alberta man survives being run over by freight train

The man was camping over the long weekend when he passed out on railroad tracks

A drunken Alberta man has survived after being run over by an 8,000-tonne freight train while camping over the long weekend near Elko, B.C.

The man's life was saved because he was so intoxicated that he completely passed out and didn't move despite the roar of the diesel engine and the screeching of the train as it tried to stop. He just lay on the tracks and the train passed right over him.

"I can't imagine being so passed out that you wouldn't hear a train," said Sgt. Dave Dubnyk with Elk Valley RCMP to QMI. "But if he had, and the train had startled him into sitting up or moving, it would have been tragic."

According to the CBC, the train's engineer spotted the many lying on the tracks, blew the whistle and slammed on the brakes, but wasn't able to stop in time.

"It was unable to stop and went right over top of this gentleman and by the time the train stopped they were actually at the 26th car and this fellow was still laying underneath the train," said Dubnyk to CBC. The engineer thought the man was dead, but CP workers found him under the 26th car.

"One of them touched him and he woke up," said Dubnyk to QMI. And not only was the man not injured, but he went right back to drinking. "He got up and grabbed his beer and just walked away."

RCMP officers used dogs to track the man down at his campground. They arrested him and took him to jail to sleep off the booze in a place he definitely couldn't be run over by a train.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. Just last month, a drunken Thunder Bay, Ont. man cheated death after being run over by a train. In that case the train did wake him up, but luckily he didn't sit up.

According to a Thunder Bay Police statement, a 70-metre train drove over the man and he had only 30 centimetres of clearance from the front of the train. Police say the noise woke him up and when the train had completely passed over him, he crawled away. The man was taken to hospital but had no visible injuries.

As for the man in B.C., charges are pending, but Dubnyk believes they will likely be for public intoxication or something similar.

(CP photo)