Darryle See is lucky to be alive.
The 22-year-old Indiana man was walking along a set of train tracks with headphones on when he was hit by an oncoming Amtrak train at 110 miles per hour. After being thrown nearly 20 feet from the tracks, he remained alert and talked to police before heading to the hospital, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.
“The conductor said it was a straight-on hit,'' LaPorte County police Maj. John Boyd said. In his 20-year law enforcement career, he says he had never seen someone survive after being hit by a high speed train while on foot.
See was reportedly walking on tracks near U.S. 12 east of Michigan City, Ind. He had his headphones on and was listening to music as the train at around 11:45 a.m. on Friday. Police said train conductors blew the train’s horn multiple times to warn See, but he was hit at 110 mph at the time of the accident, NBC Chicago reports.
When police arrived on the scene, See was awake and talking. “He was conscious and alert, sitting up and talking to us. I never would have guessed he was the victim,'' Boyd said.
Helen Hugley, See’s grandmother, says he sustained “one or two” fractures in his pelvis and other non-life threatening injuries to his neck. ''That's about it, as far as I know so far. He's going to make it,'' she said adding that See was scheduled for surgery on Sunday.
''He says he doesn't remember anything until he woke up on the other side of the tracks,'' she added.
In a brief telephone interview on Monday, See spoke to reporters from a hospital in South Bend, Ind. ''I'm doing OK. Not terrific, but I'm doing OK,'' he said sounding groggy from his hospital bed, WSBT reports.
While initial reports said See was standing in the middle of the tracks, investigators said he was standing just outside the right rail. Instead of a head-on hit it was more of a “glancing blow.”
The Amtrak train was reportedly heading from Port Huron, Mich. to Chicago, according to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. The high-speed route was implemented between Detroit and Chicago just over a year ago.
Joey Dompke, 20, one of See's neighbors, can’t believe he survived.
"God was looking out for him,'' Dompke said.