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Train strikes man lying near tracks

A man was hospitalized late Tuesday night after he was hit by a train, Merced police said.

A BNSF train was traveling westbound at approximately 20 miles per hour on the Santa Fe railroad tracks near M Street, when conductor Thomas Adrian Wilson noticed Dean Pearson, 45, lying parallel to the tracks. Wilson tried to stop the train but was unable to avoid striking Pearson.

Pearson was coherent when police, firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene. He was taken by helicopter to Doctors Hospital of Modesto and is listed in critical condition, police said.