Pedestrian hit by train in Puyallup walks away uninjured

A reported train-vs-pedestrian incident in Puyallup ended happily Tuesday evening, though that probably didn’t improve the mood of drivers and commuters who arrived home later than usual.

The original report sounded ominous, according to Puyallup police spokesman Scott Engle. A Sound Transit engineer thought he saw a pedestrian flying through air as the train reached the downtown station at 5th Street Northeast.

Police responded, and halted the train, which prompted a chain reaction: Sound Transit held all routes through Puyallup during the search for a possible victim. Traffic through downtown stalled and stayed that way.

Despite an extensive area check, police couldn’t find anyone, “or any evidence that the train had struck anyone,” Engle said.

At about 6:30 p.m., Engle said, an officer saw a group of people at a nearby business, and asked whether anyone knew anything. It turned out that they did; one of the employees had been hit by the train and walked away. Employees said the individual was inside, at work.

The officer spoke to the man, who said he’d been clipped by the train and knocked down, but not hurt. The man tried to cross as two Sounder trains passed in opposite directions, Engle said.

The man said he got up and walked on to work, Engle said. He said he was sore, but uninjured.

“He played chicken and he won,” Engle said. “I think we told him he’d better buy a lottery ticket.”

Police will wrap up the incident with a formal investigation and submit it to prosecutors, who can decide whether legal action is warranted, Engle added.