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2-year-old injured after falling into path of TRAX train

Posted - Aug. 2, 2010 at 4:55 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- A 2-year-old boy tumbled into the path of an oncoming TRAX train in Salt Lake City Monday morning but received only minor bumps and bruises. Utah Transit Authority officials say the spot where the toddler fell saved him from serious harm.

Salt Lake City police say the boy was playing near his mother on the platform at 255 S. Main Street around 9 a.m. when he fell off the platform in front of the approaching train.


"There is a pocket there that the child was able to be underneath. ... it's very fortunate that the child seems to be OK." Lt Cal Kunz, SLC Police

"The train was coming to a stop. Apparently, the child went over near the curb," said Salt Lake City police Lt. Cal Kunz.

The train was only going about 10 miles per hour. The little boy landed, not on the tracks, but in a small space next to the platform.

"There is a pocket there that the child was able to be underneath. I'm not sure if it's the train or the fall that caused the bumps and bruises, but it's very fortunate that the child seems to be OK," Kunz said.

The edge of the platform and the wheel of the train create a natural gap, which ultimately saved the boy from serious injury -- but it's not the first time this space has saved someone.

"We've actually had adults do the same thing," said UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter.

Carpenter says the design of the trains, as well as safety standards, create a gap. Trains are required to have a certain amount of clearance between the tracks and the edge of the platform. This helps keep riders safe and trains accessible.

"You need to have the platforms open so, as the trains pull up, people can easily board," Carpenter said.

Carpenter hopes Monday's good outcome serves as a safety reminder to parents.

"The most important thing is to remember, when you have small children, is to keep them close -- hold their hand as a train is approaching and make sure everyone is safe," Carpenter said.

UTA says the operator of the train appeared very shaken up and was placed on routine leave.

The boy was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

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Story compiled with contributions from Anne Forester and Cleon Wall.

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