Polk County Sheriff’s Office Press Release
On September 29, 2018, at approximately 2252 hours, PCSO deputies and Auburndale PD officers responded to the area of Recker Hwy and West Derby Avenue in reference to a CSX train striking a male walking on the train tracks. Upon arrival, the victim was located near the RR tracks approximately 100 yards or so east of Recker Hwy. The victim was unresponsive and had apparent facial and head injuries. PCFR responded and transported the victim to Lakeland Regional Medical Health Center as a trauma alert. According to the conductor, the locomotive was headed West. The conductor, Eric Howell, stated that as the engine rounded the approaching curve, they saw the victim walking east on the tracks. They blew their horn and the victim paused for several seconds and then looked up at the train. According to Howell, the victim attempted to move but it almost appeared to stumble, and was struck by the train in what he described as a “glancing blow.”
According to medical staff, the victim suffered facial injuries (lacerations), several “punctures” in his torso, a fractured left shoulder, and a left femur fracture. He is currently in critical but stable condition and is unconscious and intubated.
Deputies responded to LRHMC, using the subject’s cellphone and a Guatemalan interpreter on staff, he was able to possibly identify the man. Further investigation is needed to positively identify him.
The trauma nurse stated he suffered a left femur fracture, a left shoulder fracture, punctured hip, and three lacerations to his face. He is currently intubated and unconscious, and his status is listed as critical but stable.