Details emerge about fatal train incident in Del Mar
Several witnesses were nearby when Thomas Patrick McGrann was clipped by a northbound Coaster train in Del Mar at the Coast Boulevard crossing and died at the scene.
Encinitas Sherff’s Department Deputy Dawn Patterson said McGrann, 42, casually walked across the tracks despite properly functioning guardrails and alert systems. “The pedestrian never even looked up,” she said.
Some witnesses reported smelling alcohol on McGrann.
The guardrails had been down for 37 seconds prior to the collision, with several cars and pedestrians already stopped and waiting for the train to pass. According to Patterson, McGrann, was walking a Labrador retriever, when he casually walked across the track with the dog leading.
The train clipped McGrann, who went airborne and suffered two broken arms and a crushed skull from the impact. An off-duty London police officer, in his car at the crossing, administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation with other pedestrians before medical responders arrived. He also tied the dog to a nearby pole.
Patterson said the case is being treated as an accident, and therefore a death investigation is ensuing. The train was traveling at 50 miles per hour. A representative at the medical examiner’s office said toxicology results would not be made public until the case is closed, most likely in one to three months.
— Jonathan Horn