An elderly man drove home without stopping after his vehicle was struck by an Amtrak train in Hayward Tuesday morning.
The collision occurred shortly before 8 a.m. near Tennyson Road and Leidig Court, where a driver waiting for a Capitol Corridor train to pass attempted to make it around the arms of the railroad crossing signal, according to Hayward police Sgt. Jason Corsolini.
Not only did 84-year-old Angel Pagaduan walk away uninjured, he managed to drive the car home after the accident.
Pagaduan’s Nissan Sentra sustained rear-end damage, but the man drove away without stopping, according to police. "He almost made it, but he got clipped by the train," Corsolini said.
Witnesses reported the collision and the vehicle's license plate was found at the scene, leading police to Pagaduan's home.
After interviewing the driver, officers determined Pagaduan seemed confused and couldn't answer questions clearly. His license has been revoked, pending re-evaluation by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Pagaduan was also cited for failure to obey crossing arms, which he insists never came down.
Neighbors who told NBC Bay Area they were already concerned about this particular crossing said they aren’t surprised to hear the warning arms may not have come down.
Pagaduan said he was on his way to get some breakfast when he says he hit some traffic and he ended up on the tracks. That’s when he says he saw the train coming at him and knew he had seconds to save himself. “I am supposed to be dead the way I see it,” Pagaduan said.
Pagaduan said he was petrified when he looked through his car window to see the Amtrak train barreling toward him. “Death, immediate death, was what came to my thoughts. If I am not able to move off this, I know that will happen.”
The train, which was traveling from Sacramento to San Jose, was held at the scene until 9:24 a.m. while inspectors checked the track, according to Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham.
No injuries were reported to anyone on the train.
Anyone who might be concerned about malfunction railroad crossings is encouraged to contact Union Pacific Railroad at (888) 877-7267.
Bay City News contributed to this report.