In the second dramatic incident in less than a week in which victims survived freak, life-threatening injuries, a man attempting suicide was still alive Tuesday after lying in front of a Metrolink commuter train and being run over.
Manuel Camberos, 25, was in serious condition at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills with a skull fracture, head lacerations and a severed toe after the incident early Tuesday morning.
On Thursday, Guy Arnone, 30, suffered only singed hair, mild burns and a slight loss of memory after being struck by lightning during a thunderstorm in Calabasas.
Sgt. Pete Weinhold of the LAPD's Foothill Division said Camberos parked his car in the middle of San Fernando Road near Hubbard Street about 7 a.m. Tuesday and then jumped out and ran toward the train, which was heading into the Sylmar station.
Metrolink spokesman Peter Hidalgo said the train was traveling about 50 mph. Apparently intent on killing himself, authorities said Camberos hopped on the tracks and starting running toward the oncoming train.
"The operator of the train repeatedly blew the horn and then tried an emergency stop," Hidalgo said.
"But the man just kept coming and then lay down in front of the train."
Weinhold said at least two sections of the train ran over Camberos before it came to a halt. Camberos was coherent enough to pull himself to a nearby tree.
"He had to be a small person to survive that," Hidalgo said after leaving the scene of the attempted suicide.
"I have never heard of anyone being stuck under the train and it not being a fatality. It's unusual that he didn't die."
Three people have been killed this year in collisions with Metrolink trains in Southern California, Hidalgo said.