Train hits woman in wheelchair near Old Town

SAN DIEGO – A Coaster commuter train hit and injured a woman who was trying to cross the tracks in a wheelchair Wednesday morning, halting train service to the Santa Fe Depot.

The accident happened at about 7:40 a.m. near West Washington Street and Pacific Highway, according to San Diego police spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz. The injured woman was taken by ambulance to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, she said. The 57-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries, San Diego County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason King said.

A witness told FOX 5 that the woman was trying to cross the tracks, but her wheelchair apparently got stuck on the rails.

The woman's companion told FOX 5 he was pushing her across the tracks when the wheel became stuck.  He wasn't able to move the wheelchair before the train hit her.

The train was traveling at 50 mph when the engineer noticed the woman. He sounded the horn and put the emergency brakes on but was unable to avoid hitting the woman, King said.

Coaster service stopped at the Old Town Transit Station for about two hours until the accident investigation was finished and the tracks to Santa Fe Depot reopened.

Anyone with information about this incident should call sheriff's department's non-emergency line at 858-565-5200.