A man was struck by a railroad train this morning after apparently saving a woman by throwing her from a Yakima trestle as the train approached.

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YAKIMA — A man was struck by a railroad train this morning after apparently saving a woman by throwing her from a Yakima trestle as the train approached.

Both were rushed to local hospitals. Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas said the two victims were part of a group of five individuals who were attempting to walk across the bridge crossing the Naches River shortly after 8 this morning.

The train involved was described as a Yakima day-switcher returning from Ellensburg traveling eastbound with two locomotives and two refrigerated boxcars of corn. Melonas said as soon as the crew spotted the group they tried to warn the group by sounding its horn and then applying emergency brakes.

Although three men made it off the tracks OK, the one woman traveling with them fell and was helped to her feet by the fourth man in the group. He attempted to get both of them to safely but was unable to make it in time and ended up throwing the female down a 10 to 15 foot embankment before being struck by the train.

Melonas said although the train crew was able to slow the speed down from 35 miles per hour, the train was still traveling 10 to 15 mph upon impact.

“This is an unfortunate situation,” he said. “But this time of year we see an increase in trespassing situations.

“People take shortcuts and risks often by crossing railroad property and we encourage the public to use designated areas.”

Yakima police said the male victim may have suffered back injuries while the female victim suffered a broken leg from landing on the rocks below.

Although Yakima police handled the initial investigation it has been handed off to BNSF investigators. Melonas said today that so far this year there have been nine people killed on railroads in Washington state.