Railroad doubts train passed over drunk Iowa teen

AP News
Posted: Jul 06, 2011 9:41 AM
Railroad doubts train passed over drunk Iowa teen

An Iowa Interstate Railroad official doubts a train drove over a teenager who was passed out between the rails in downtown Des Moines, leaving him with only minor injuries.

Mick Burkart, the railroad's chief operating officer, says there is about 10 inches of clearance between a locomotive and railroad ties, which is hardly enough space for someone to lie beneath.

However, 17-year-old Christian Michael Latshaw told police that's what happened Sunday night. He says he was drunk and passed out, and that he woke up under the train.

Train engineers slammed on the brakes when they spotted someone on the tracks.

Burkart told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday it's more likely Latshaw stood up and was knocked clear of the train.

Latshaw suffered head cuts and a thigh bruise.