Man Struck and Killed by Train in San Clemente

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An 18-year-old man was struck and killed Saturday by an Amtrak train at San Clemente State Beach near Avenida Calafia. Authorities said he failed to heed the train's horn blasts and several warnings shouted to him by beach-goers nearby.

Witnesses on the beach told police that Michael Jason Shannon of Lake Elsinore was walking along the train tracks at 4:21 p.m. when he was struck, said San Clemente Police Sgt. Nelda Gonzalez.

"Apparently, the train sounded its horn," Gonzalez said. "According to statements from witnesses, he turned around as the train approached but for whatever reason, did not get far enough away from the train to avoid a collision. He seemed to acknowledge the train."

Shannon was walking southbound about three feet away from the track as the train--headed south to San Diego--approached. Witnesses said that at one point he crossed over from one side of the track to another.

"There were people on the beach who were yelling at him to get out of the way," Gonzalez said.

The train was traveling at approximately 45 m.p.h. when it struck the left side of Shannon's body.

Shannon was airlifted to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo where he was pronounced dead at 5:05 p.m.

Amtrak officials said that they did not know how many passengers were aboard the train which was due to arrive in San Diego at 5:29 p.m. The train's arrival was delayed by 38 minutes as a result of the accident, said officer Don Holloway of Amtrak police.

This is the third incident in Orange County this summer in which a pedestrian has been killed after being struck by a train.

Last month, a 40-year-old man committed suicide in Anaheim by squatting on the train tracks in front of an oncoming Amtrak train heading for Los Angeles. He was killed instantly.

Another man was struck by a freight train in Fullerton after he and three friends had been drinking beer on the tracks. The companions managed to move out of the way during the June 2 incident.

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