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Retarded Man in Serious Condition After Being Hit by Freight Train

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

A retarded La Habra man was in serious condition Sunday after he was hit by a freight train as he apparently tried to run across the tracks, police said.

James Naranjo, 34, was flown by helicopter to UCI Medical Center in Orange after the accident, which occurred at 4:47 p.m. at Euclid Avenue south of La Habra Boulevard, police said.

“He was seen running from a bush near the tracks,” said La Habra Police Sgt. Perry Miller. “Witnesses saw him running alongside of the train.”

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Naranjo apparently tried to cross in front of the train, Miller said.

“The engineer saw him running next to the train, then heard a thud,” Miller said.

The train, two Southern Pacific locomotives pulling six cars, was traveling about 16 m.p.h. at the time of the incident, according to a railroad spokesman.

After hearing the thud, the engineer applied the brakes, Miller said.

Miller said Naranjo suffered severe injuries to his head and legs.

Miller said Naranjo would occasionally stray from his family’s home and have to be taken back to his residence by officers. He said Naranjo never caused any major problems, but did have a “minor” encounter with authorities.

“Most of time he stays in the home with his family,” Miller said.

Naranjo’s family “was very upset” by the accident, Miller said. They could not be reached for comment.

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