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Man killed after being hit by train near Highway 59

A middle-aged man died early Sunday morning when he was struck by a Union Pacific Railroad freight train near Highway 59 and West 16th Street.

Sgt. Chris Goodwin of the Merced Police Department said the man, in his 40s, was struck by a southbound UP freight train at 7:12 a.m. Riggs Ambulance Service and Merced Fire Department personnel rendered first aid but the man was pronounced dead soon thereafter at the Community Campus of Mercy Medical Center Merced.

The train crew saw the man run up to the tracks from about 50 yards away. The engineer sounded the locomotive's horn and applied the emergency brakes but the man turned his back to the train and did not move. The train could not stop in time to avoid hitting him, Goodwin said.

The man's identity was being withheld Sunday night until the Merced County Coroner's Office had notified his next-of-kin, Goodwin said.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or