Train kills man walking on tracks near Torrey Pines

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SAN DIEGO — A 49-year-old man walking on the railroad tracks at Torrey Pines State beach apparently ignored warning bells and whistles from an approaching train and was hit and killed by an Amtrak Coaster over the weekend, according to authorities and media reports.

Michael North of Del Mar was walking between the rails south of the intersection of Carmel Valley Road and North Torrey Pines Road when the northbound Amtrak locomotive approached from behind shortly before 11:30 a.m. Sunday, according to sheriff’s officials and the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

The North County Transit District’s Coaster train was traveling north between the Sorrento Valley and Solana Beach Coaster stations when it hit the man. He died at the scene.

“According to witnesses, as the train was approaching the location, the victim was observed walking northbound in the middle of the railroad tracks along the bluffs,” Morabe said. “The train operator activated its horn and emergency braking system, but was unable to stop before striking the victim.”

The train’s conductor told investigators the victim was walking with two other people, who moved out of the way when the train began using its bells and whistles to alert them, according to a broadcast report. Meanwhile, North continued walking on the tracks.

Crossing train tracks is a misdemeanor but people commonly cross the railroad tracks near the accident site because it gives them easy access to the beach.

Coaster service on the railroad line was delayed about two hours, NCTD said. The agency sent buses to transport passengers stranded on trains. The train carried 109 passengers, according to authorities.

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