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Drunk man alive after run over by 26 railcars 0

Michael Platt, QMI Agency

CALGARY — The roar of a diesel locomotive and 26 screeching railcars weren't enough to wake a drunken Alberta man -- and Mounties say he'd surely be dead if they had.

It's a case that has veteran RCMP officers flabbergasted, given the overwhelming odds against the sloshed long-weekend camper surviving being run over by an 8,000-tonne freight train.

But he not only walked away intact, the 20-something was still coherent enough to remember his beverage.

"He got up and grabbed his beer and just walked away," said RCMP Sgt. Dave Dubnyk.

The man, from the Crowsnest Pass-area of Alberta, had left his campsite near Elko, B.C., and somehow ended up on the nearby railway tracks.

Inexplicably, the luckiest lager drinker in the world then decided the tracks would be a fine place for a nap.

It was a sharp-eyed Canadian Pacific Railway engineer who noticed the body lying between the rails ahead, but stopping a laden freight is no easy task.

With whistle blasting, Dubnyk says the locomotive and 26 cars passed over the man before the screeching train finally stopped.

Railway workers assumed he was dead.

"When they reached him, they thought he was deceased -- but one of them touched him, and he woke up," said Dubnyk, who works with the Elk Valley RCMP detachment.

It took RCMP dogs to track the track-napper back to his campground, where officers arrested the man and hauled him to a nice safe cell, where he could sleep off the booze in a locomotive-free environment.

Charges are pending -- Dubnyk says they will likely be for public intoxication, or something similar.

But a fine for being sloshed seems like a small price, given the penalty the drunk miraculously avoided.

"It's unbelievable, when you think of the possibility for a tragic end," said Dubnyk.

"I can't imagine being so passed out that you wouldn't hear a train -- but if he had, and the train had startled him into sitting up or moving, it would have been tragic."


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