Florida Keys

That pedestrian who got hit and dragged by a Conch Train? It was his fault, police say

Police and passersby help a homeless man struck by a Conch Train tourist vehicle on May 17, 2018.
Police and passersby help a homeless man struck by a Conch Train tourist vehicle on May 17, 2018.

A man who was struck by a Conch Train tourist vehicle in Key West last week is to blame for the crash because he darted out into the street against a red light, police said.

Kurt A. McCord, 60, was dragged 87 feet in the southbound lane of the 1000 block of White Street by the Conch Train, a 65-foot-long vehicle designed to look like a small locomotive. The Conch Train has been an attraction in Key West for decades.

"The guy was literally pinned under the engine," said one witness, Tom Payne. "His head and body bleeding. Lots of blood."

After the May 17 accident, McCord was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami with serious injuries. McCord, who is homeless, has been released from the hospital, according to police.

He was on the west shoulder of White Street, outside the Mobil gas station, when he crossed during a red light, witnesses told police, and appeared to be coming from the gas station's parking lot.

When McCord looked up and saw the Conch Train, he realized he had misjudged the distance and began running, witnesses said.

The Conch Train driver, Vanessa Linsley, 52, said she didn't see McCord but heard him as he was hit and being dragged by the vehicle. She hit the brakes, police said.

The train was traveling south on White Street at about 6:22 p.m. when the crash happened. Police said Linsley was not distracted at the time, her condition was "normal," and her vision not obscured, according to the traffic crash report released Wednesday by city spokeswoman Alyson Crean.

The train, owned by Historic Tours of America, had no passengers aboard at the time and the driver was not injured. The company did not return a call for comment.

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