PAYETTE, Idaho – A 19-year-old Ontario man was flown to a Boise hospital this morning after being struck by a train while trying to cross a railroad bridge over the Payette River.
Juan Silva is listed in critical condition, according Saint Alphonsus spokesman Josh Schliach.
Payette County officers and rescue units were dispatched to the scene around 8:40 a.m.
Investigators say Silva was walking on the train trestle when he heard the train coming and started to run. However, he did not make it to the other side, and was struck and thrown down an embankment.
Employees of nearby TVM Recycling told KTVB they heard the train slam on its brakes, looked up and saw Silva running down the tracks. They say the train "clipped" the teenager and his leg was badly injured.
TVM employees said it appeared the boy didn't hear the train until it was too close, though they aren't sure why. The particular track is very busy with several trains passing through every hour.
Silva was treated at the scene, then flown by air ambulance to Boise.
It is unclear how fast the train was traveling. An investigation is underway.