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DEPUTY MAY HAVE SAVED TRAVELER’S LIFE
An undocumented immigrant who suffered a life-threatening injury on a northbound freight train near Cotulla last Friday was able to call the emergency dispatcher before losing consciousness beside the railroad line, according to investigators.
A report of an injured man beside the IH-35 access road came through to the sheriff’s office at around 4:30 a.m. on October 7, and La Salle Deputy Miguel Limon was sent to investigate. The officer arrived to find a man with a serious leg injury lying on the east-side interstate access road near Milemarker 74.
In a brief report on the case, the sheriff’s office has confirmed that Deputy Limon may have contributed to saving the man’s life by applying a tourniquet to the injured leg. The deputy was assisted at the scene by La Salle Cpl. Michael Hernandez and Highway Patrol Trooper Leo Martinez of Cotulla.
The investigation that followed revealed that the man had entered Texas illegally from Mexico and had traveled through La Salle County underneath a northbound Union Pacific freight train. He sustained the injury either during his ride or while attempting to leap from the moving train, according to La Salle Sheriff’s Lt. Homar Olivarez this week.
“We believe the man was either struck by the train coupler or caught in it, which caused this serious injury,” the lieutenant said. “It is possible that his foot was run over by one of the train’s wheels. We do not know whether he was traveling alone or with a group of other undocumented immigrants.
“We have also discovered that the man may have lain beside the tracks or near the access road for several hours in a state of semi-consciousness before he finally called for help,” the officer said. “He had a cellphone with him and called 911.”
Medics of the La Salle Fire Rescue arrived to treat the man before he was airlifted to a San Antonio hospital.