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Two young men survived dangerous train accidents over Fourth of July weekend. Image: KB35/Flickr/CC BY

Two teenage boys from the U.S. were both run over by trains on opposite sides of the world last weekend. Both survived, though one is seriously injured. An Iowa boy escaped with minor cuts and bruises. A Washington state teen, however, lost his leg in Calcutta, India.

Blacked out on the tracks

According to police reports, Christian Latshaw, a 17-year-old from Altoona, Iowa, had been drinking at the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines Sunday night. Apparently he blacked out during the evening and laid down in the middle of a train track.

Escapes with minor cuts and bruises

Two Iowa Interstate Railroad engineers spotted something on the track ahead of them at about 11 p.m. and slammed on the emergency brake. The engine and the first car passed over the boy before the train came to a complete stop. Latshaw was rushed to the Mercy medical Center in Des Moines. There he was found to only be suffering from cuts to the back of his head and a bruise on his thigh.

Police charges filed

A hospital spokesman said the boy is in good condition, is being held for observation and will be released soon. The police, however, have charged Latshaw with public intoxication and trespassing.

An unfortunate mission

Less fortunate was David Ricci, 19, of Snohomish, Wash., who, while on a mission for his church in India, fell on train tracks and was struck and dragged by a train. He suffered critical injuries and lost one of his legs. Ricci’s family says if a doctor who happened to be on scene had not applied a tourniquet, Ricci would likely not have survived.

Ricci, a student at Everett Community College, had taken four weeks off from his education to travel with a group called “Youth With a Mission.” They were to help patients at Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying and Destitute.

Hospital conditions not sterile

Carissa Ricci, the boy’s sister, said, “The hospital is not sterile and we can’t even talk to him on the phone.” Ricci’s mother and step-father have made the trip to India to be by his side. Though communication is limited, they are attempting to coordinate efforts to bring Ricci home for quality medical treatment.

The Hope Foursquare Church in Snohomish, Wash., is taking donations to help with Ricci’s medical costs.



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