A man struck by a train entering the Red Bank train station Sunday night is alive and in critical condition in a hospital intensive care unit as of Monday morning, a Jersey Shore University Medical Center nursing official said.
The accident victim, identified as 32-year-old Red Bank resident Jose Melgar, was hit by the northbound New Jersey Transit train as it was coming to a stop at the station around 9:15 p.m. According to reports from the train engineer, Melgar leaped in front of the train as it slowly rolled into the station.
Emergency medical personnel were able to extract Melgar, pinned under the train close to the middle of the two tracks, less than 30 minutes after the call was first placed. With firefighters carrying sheets to block views of the stretcher from gathered onlookers, the accident victim was hoisted into an ambulance where technicians went to work for several minutes before the vehicle pulled away.
According to John Durso Jr., spokesman for NJ Transit, Melgar entered surgery early Monday morning with a fractured skull, as well as fractures to his arms and legs.
Originally, emergency crews called for a medivac for transport but the helicopter was soon called off in favor of ground transport to the Neptune hospital.
According to the engineer's report of the incident, Melgar was seen near the ticket vending machine at the north end of the station closest to Monmouth Street, Durso said. With the train slowing to a halt Melgar approached the end of the platform and jumped in front of the train. The engineer applied the train's emergency brakes but not before Melgar was struck.
The incident is pending further investigation.
The train was carrying 40 customers, most of which opted for other transportation during the hour and 45 minutes that the train remained stopped at the station.
More details will be released as they come.