Two people were reportedly struck by different trains within about an hour in Merced County, first responders initially reported, but authorities now believe one report was a mistake.
A man, whose name has not been released, was fatally struck after 5 p.m. Wednesday on the BNSF tracks just west of Shaffer Road near Atwater, according to the Merced County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities are waiting to identify family before releasing his name, according to Deputy Daryl Allen, and deputies believe he may have been homeless.
Within an hour from the first call, a train engineer on the Union Pacific Railroad reported striking a person on the tracks near the bridge that crosses over Bear Creek close to Highway 59 and 16th Street, according to Merced firefighters.
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The crew inspected the tracks and the area under the bridge for about an hour and could not find a person, firefighters said on Wednesday.
Merced police and sheriff's deputies also searched the area and no body was found, according to Allen. Authorities believe the train engineer was mistaken about striking a person, he said.
The Union Pacific train was blocking the V Street crossing.