• Firefighters rescue injured man hit by train on light rail tracks

    By: Mark Barber

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Officials are investigating after a person was injured early Monday on the light rail tracks in lower South End.

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officials told Channel 9 a man was struck by a light rail train on the tracks over Woodlawn Road, near Old Pineville Road around 5 a.m.

    Police said the man suffered minor injuries and paramedics said he was in stable condition.

    It was unclear why he was on the tracks.

    Channel 9 crews watched as firefighters used a ladder truck to lower the man from the tracks and load him into an ambulance.

    Fire Batallion Chief Peter Skeris said the crashes are rare, but firefighters knew what to do because they just went through a recent round of raining for the Blue Line Extension. 

    "We've got a great department full of great men and women. When time comes and it's game time, they perform great," Fire Batallion Chief Peter Skeris said. "To go over the train movements, how to secure power to it, how to work with the rail operations side of it, to make sure that we can get up there and take care of it safely."

    CATS officials said the train had no passengers on it at the time, and was actually a "sweeper" train, used to sweep the tracks before service starts for the day.

    A temporary bus bridge was put in place between Archdale station and New Bern station but service was fully restored by 6:15 a.m.

    Charlotte's light rail cars clock in at 100,000 pounds. Some riders said they are stunned the man is going to recover. 

    "It is very surprising," rider Rosa Pena said. 

    "I don't think you going to get hit by a train you're going to survive afterwards," rider Eijahri Hendrickson said. 

    CATS told Channel 9's Mark Barber crashes like this can happen because people use the tracks as a shortcut. 

    Pena said this a hard way to learn that lesson. 

    "That is so scary," Pena said. "Hopefully he is doing better."

    CATS said three people were hit by a light rail train in 2018. CATS added if you walk on the tracks, you can be charged with trespassing, which in certain cases, can carry a $1,000 fine and jail time. 

    CATS to Implement Schedule Change on Feb. 4

    Charlotte Area Transit System will implement planned service adjustments on several bus routes beginning Monday. The following routes will experience modifications:

    Route 2 Ashley Road - Service every 35 minutes to improve trip times for customers and transfer connections to Routes 8 and 34.

    Route 3 The Plaza - Will now utilize 36th Street through to North Tryon to provide customers with a direct connection to the LYNX Blue Line 36th Street station. Trips along Matheson Avenue, North Davidson Street, and North Brevard Street will be discontinued. Late night service to the LYNX 25th Street and Parkwood stations will also be discontinued.

    Sprinter Route 5 & NEW Route 35: Wilkinson/Amazon - Sprinter will no longer service the Amazon facility on Wilkinson Boulevard which includes stops at Wilkinson & Little Rock, Wilkinson & Huntlynn, and the Old Dowd Road stop at Amazon. Customers can now travel via the new Route 35 Wilkinson/Amazon.

    Route 6 Kings Drive - Trips traveling to the Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) in Uptown will now serve stops located on Torrence Street and Baxter Street in the Cherry Village Neighborhood. This adjustment will impact inbound trips only.

    Route 20 Queens Rd - Will be extended to serve the Quail Corners Shopping center. This extension will also serve stops along Sharon Road and Park Road and provide riders with connections to the Harris YMCA and Sharon Towers community.

    Minor adjustments will also be made to Route 8 Tuckaseegee, Route 16 South Tryon, Route 28 Fairview, Route 34 Freedom Drive, Route 47X Greenhouse Express, and Route 59 UNC/Huntersville.

    More detailed information on changes to these routes and others, along with schedule specifics, can be found here.

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