A transient woman was struck by a train in Aberdeen early this morning. Sergeant Andy Snodgrass with the Aberdeen Police Department said that the first two officers on scene applied a tourniquet to both legs, stopping massive blood flow and saving the 43-year-old woman’s life.
It was reported just after midnight Thursday morning, officers were nearby conducting an unrelated investigation when they heard the woman scream. Radio traffic last night indicates it occurred on the Northern-most track, between Alder and Michigan Streets.
Snodgrass said it appeared she was trying to cross the train tracks from North to South, near South Michigan Street. At some point the train started moving while she was between cars and ran over the woman, severing both legs.
The Aberdeen Fire Department arrived on scene and quickly evaluated the victim and then transported her to Grays Harbor Community Hospital. She was stabilized and Life Flighted to Harborview Medical Center. Snodgrass applauded the first two officers on scene for their quick and life-saving application of the tourniquets.
The area, one block South of State Street, is a train yard and staging area for the many grain and vehicle hauling cars we see pass through Aberdeen. Just South of that is a large encampment of people living on private property along the Chehalis River. The train yard has become a high-traffic area for people coming and going from the camp.
A press release from Lieutenant Kevin Darst later this morning is below:
On 5/17/18 about 0005 hours (12:05 A.M.), Aberdeen Police Officers were in the downtown area when they heard a scream. They began to check the area when dispatch advised them of a train vs. pedestrian accident on the railroad tracks near Harbor Battery. Dispatch further advised that the pedestrian had suffered a double amputation of her legs. When the Aberdeen Sergeant arrived on scene, two Aberdeen Officers were applying department issued tourniquets to the victim’s legs trying to stop the bleeding. The victim was known by the officers and identified by them. She is an Indian female about 43 years of age with the last address listed in our database as Hoquiam.
The Aberdeen Fire Department arrived on scene and quickly evaluated the victim and then transported her to Grays Harbor Community Hospital. She was stabilized and Life Flighted to Harborview Medical Center.
The officers determined that the train was traveling Eastbound and was currently in the Elma area and unaware of any accident. The accident was processed by the officers. The officers noted that the area of the accident is a high trespass area and is marked with no trespassing.
Darst added, “We do not have any further updates for the victim at this time.”
Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson said in a post to Facebook “Last night, a tragic pedestrian vs. train incident occurred at the railroad yard near State Street leaving a woman with both legs amputated. Officers already in the area responded quickly and were able to perform emergency first aid. I applaud our officer’s for their actions to save this woman’s life and prevent a horrible incident from becoming fatal.
It was however no incident that officers were in the area. Due to the ongoing issues along the river, there has been an emphasis patrol in the area. The situation at the river front property is untenable. Multiple efforts in previous years have failed to provide a permanent solution and I believe it is best the City acquire the property.
In addition, the City has been working prior to this incident with adjoining property owners to install a gate to restrict vehicle access accross the railroad and will be installing it in the next few weeks.
This was a tragic incident and we will work to ensure it is the last.”