Blind man, run over by L.A. subway train, is fine

A Los Angeles Red Line subway train

LOS ANGELES -- A blind man fell onto the tracks at a subway station as a train was arriving Thursday, but he escaped unharmed by lying flat as the cars screeched to a halt above him, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

The train "ran over the man but didn't touch him, thank God," LA Metro spokesman Paul Gonzales said. "In my view, this is a miraculous occurrence. The man is exceedingly lucky to be alive."

The 47-year-old Los Angeles man fell from the platform at the Wilshire and Vermont station in the city's Koreatown neighborhood as a Red Line train was approaching.

The train operator blew its horn, but by the time he could stop the train, the second car had passed over the man, Gonzales said.

Firefighters put the man on a backboard to pull him out, Gonzalez told CBS Los Angeles station KCBS-TV.

Eyewitness Christopher Vitiello told the station everything happened very quickly. "The driver put the emergency brake on. Everyone was pretty shook up about it," Vitiello said, adding, "It was a screeching stop."

The man, whose identity was not released, had "no obvious injuries" and was not touched by the train, but was taken to a hospital as a precaution, Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main said.

This is at least the third time since September 2012 that a train on the Red Line has passed over a person. In the other two instances, the people were seriously injured.