Federal, state rail agencies launch train safety campaign

ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- The Orange County Transportation Authority, Metrolink and Operation Lifesaver are launching a public safety campaign called "See Tracks? Think Train!" The campaign urges people to stay away from train tracks to avoid injury or death.

"You have to think that a train can come at any time, in any direction, at any speed, at any time of the day, and you must always be aware of that," said OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson.

Mark Kalina, a man lucky enough to survive being hit by a train in 2012, is the spokesperson for the new campaign. He's sharing his story as a way to demonstrate the danger of railroad tracks.

"I feel extremely lucky to be alive, because I should've died on those tracks," said Kalina.

Kalina got stuck trying to walk across a train track in Columbus, Ohio in 2012. A train came speeding over him, cutting off both his legs.

"Horrible to look down and see a piece of your body that's been there, for me, 23 years, and it's just gone," said Kalina.

Now Kalina is walking on prosthetics and helping promote a new rail safety campaign.

A Metrolink train collided with a car in Burbank on Tuesday. The 79-year-old driver died at a hospital.

"Maybe if they had the education and the understanding of the rules and laws, then maybe we could have kept them off the tracks," said Kalina.

Kalina wants people to listen so no one else has to go through what he has, or worse.

"I want to further turn this into a positive thing by helping more people out by sharing my story, and hopefully they hear it and learn from my mistakes," said Kalina.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there have been more rail-crossing deaths in California than in any other state.

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