Man burned by wires lands on train

September 13, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Peter Hermann contributed to this article.

A 22-year-old man remained in critical condition at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center with severe burns suffered when he fell from a bridge through high-voltage power lines and landed atop a passing freight train on the Susquehanna River Bridge in Perryville early yesterday.

John Dealy, the victim, worked for Clipper City, a cruise ship docked at the Tidewater Marina in Havre de Grace, said Havre de Grace police Lt. John VanGilder.

Mr. Dealy, whose address was unavailable, suffered second- and third-degree burns when he hit the 11,000-volt wires, said Howard Robertson, a spokesman for Amtrak, which owns the rail line.

Mr. Dealy has not yet been charged in the incident, but Mr. Robertson said, "It is not unusual for Amtrak to charge individuals with trespassing, whether they are injured or not.

"The railroad industry had 96 deaths and 523 injuries related to trespassing incidents last year," he said. "We nearly always file charges against trespassers."

Lieutenant VanGilder said the incident occurred about 12:55 a.m. when two men, who apparently came by boat, climbed up the center span of the railroad bridge and the 20-foot-high span that holds the wires used to power trains.

The two apparently were sitting on top of the span watching a Conrail freight train go by when Mr. Dealy fell. Moments later, the train stopped at the Lewis Lane siding in Havre de Grace. Lieutenant VanGilder said it was unclear whether the stop was scheduled.

When Havre de Grace officers arrived, the Conrail engineer was talking to Mr. Dealy, who was still on the train, the lieutenant said.

The engineer told officers that he had seen a man in a white T-shirt on the bridge. Mr. Dealy was wearing a green shirt, so police began to search for a second victim until a friend of the victim told them that he had been wearing a white shirt before Mr. Dealy fell. Authorities did not identify the second man, but Mr. Robertson said Amtrak police were still questioning the man yesterday.

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