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Man dies after Charlestown train collision

July 5, 2012

CHARLESTOWN - A 25-year-old Providence man has died after being struck by a high-speed train on a trestle bridge carrying amtrak lines over the Pawcatuck River in the northwest section of Charlestown on Sunday.

Police and rescue crews from both Charlestown and Hopkinton responded to the scene after multiple 911 calls reported the accident. The deceased, Nary Morales, was conscious at the scene while he was treated. He suffered significant damage to his right leg, the lower half of which had to be amputated. He also suffered a spinal injury and sever laceration to his lower back. He was pronounced dead on Tuesday.

According to Acting Charlestown Police Chief Michael Paliotta, a group of approximately 25 people were on a canoeing trip from Providence when the passed under the bridge on the river. Some members of the group climbed the trestles to jump off into the water approximately 40 feet below.

An Acela Train traveling from Boston to Washington D.C. approached the bridge at approximately 95 miles per hour, Paliotta was told by Amtrak, and Morales was unable to get out of the way in time. He was struck by the train and thrown into the girders of the bridge, then fell to the water.

Members of the group who witnessed the accident rushed to help Morales to the river banks, and he was treated for injuries and placed on a stretcher by rescue crews upon their arrival.

Due to the secluded nature of the area, which is most easily accessible by trails at the end of Driftwood Drive, Morales had to be transported by boat to a point down the river where he could be accessed by an ambulance. Also, a helicopter could not be used for transport because of severe thunderstorms in the area, police said.

Paliotta said that Charlestown detectives returned to the scene to take photographs and investigate, but now the investigation in in the hands of Amtrak Police.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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