Darryle See, 22, of Michigan City, Ind. was hit by an Amtrak train traveling 110 mph. (courtesy ABC News)
Monday, August 19, 2013
Authorities were amazed to find Darryle See conscious and able to sit up after being hit by an Amtrak train barreling down the tracks at 110 miles per hour.
See, 22, of Michigan City, Ind., told officials he was jogging alongside the train tracks near his home with his headphones on, listening to music when he was hit Friday morning.
Officials were alerted to the accident after someone heard screaming near the train tracks. When they arrived, they found See lying in the tall grass, wearing only one shoe, Major John Boyd, spokesman for the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office, told ABCNews.com.
See, who was bleeding and had minor contusions when deputies found him, was fully aware of his surroundings after he was hit, Boyd said.
"I was surprised that someone had survived the impact," Boyd said. "I expected to find human remains somewhere, but was really surprised that he was sitting up, conscious and alert."
When the train rounded a curve in the track, the train crew spotted See inside the two rails and sounded their horn, but the man didn't react, Boyd said.
See "bounced off the train" and was thrown approximately 50 feet, Boyd said.
The train made an emergency stop and a conductor got off the train to look for the victim.
The major said the conductor was shocked that See lived after the impact. The officer said the train crew heard the sound of the train strike the man's body and assumed the worst. The conductor contacted the dispatcher to report a fatal pedestrian strike.
See is in serious condition at Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Ind., where he underwent surgery, hospital spokeswoman Maggie Scroope told ABCNews.com.
See's mother, Teresa Larson, of Larson of Buchanan, Mich., said her son is in recovery and "doing remarkably well" despite not remembering the ordeal.
See had to have a plate put in his neck following the accident, Larson said. He also sustained several shattered vertebrae, internal bleeding, a broken pelvis as well as broken ribs.
Larson said her son doesn't remember what it felt to be propelled forward by the train – just what happened before and after he was struck. Both she and her mother are amazed he survived at all, she said.
"I would definitely call it a miracle. I couldn't believe it when they told us he was alive and talking," his grandmother, Helen Hugley told ABC South Bend affiliate WBND-LD.
While Larson said it is unclear when her son will get out of the hospital, "he'll be going through a lot of physical therapy" on his road to recovery, she said.
A spokesman for Amtrak declined to comment on the accident to ABCNews.com