LAPORTE | A man found a day after being hit by an Amtrak train told police he didn't seek medical treatment, choosing to try and drink away the pain.
LaPorte police spent the night searching for a man they believed was hit by an Amtrak train, but chalked it up as a mystery after two hours when no one was found.
Officers were called about 8 p.m. Thursday to a downtown crossing on Madison Street where members of the Amtrak crew spotted a man dressed in all black crossing the tracks.
According to police, the crew, believing they'd struck him, stopped the train. A search along a 1-mile stretch of the rails turned up nothing.
The next day, police were called to Best Western, at 444 Pine Lake Ave., after a man complained at the hotel that he got hit by a train.
The man was taken by ambulance to the hospital with no obvious signs of being hurt, police said. However, doctors are planning to run a CT scan to find out if he had any internal injuries.
The man told investigators he was highly intoxicated when he tried to beat the train across the tracks on foot.
According to police, he said after being thrown to the ground he hung on to the rails next to the ones the train was traveling on to keep from being "sucked under" the fast moving locomotive, police said.
A warrant is being sought to charge the man with criminal trespass and public intoxication, both misdemeanors.
LaPorte police Capt. Tom Heath said he's not sure how the man survived unless the train delivered just a glancing blow or being relaxed from his inebriated state allowed his body to absorb some of the impact.
"I guess he was just lucky," Heath said. "I sure wouldn't tout drinking as being a survival technique for train accidents."
Heath said the man is being chaged with criminal trespass because it's against the law for the general public to be on railroad property.
In August, A Michigan City-area man was hit by an Amtrak train traveling 110 mph and survived with just a few broken bones. Darryle See, 22, was alert and talking to police after being thrown into tall grass 20 feet from the tracks along U.S. 12 east of Michigan City.