Two persons were injured, one of them seriously, when they were hit by a freight train yesterday afternoon while attending a Clifton Days celebration in southwestern Fairfax County.
Fairfax County police identified the two as Brian Kenneth Jans, 23, of 2219 Orchard Dr. in Fairfax and Asil W. Burbulis, 14, of 5465 Safe Harbor Ct. in Burke. Janes, who lost both feet in the incident, was listed in serious condition, and Burbulis was in good condition. Both were taken to Commonwealth Doctors Hospital.
The two injured persons were among more than 10,000 people who swarmed to the tiny town of 200 near the county's southern border for a day of arts and crafts, antiques, backyard chicken dinners and balloons.
They were struck about 5 p.m. by a Southern Railroad freight train where the tracks cross the historic district's Main Street, only yards from the center of festivities. Police said Jans was apparently pulled under the slow moving freight train as he attempted to board it. Police said the incident is still under investigation.
One local fire department officer described the festival as "wall-to-wall people." Most of them parked in a field on the other side of the tracks, about 200 yards from the center of town, where a calliope belted out Sousa marches for most of the afternoon.
The 13th annual festival stretched from the railroad tracks about two blocks through the town. Nearly 30 trains pass the guarded crossing each day. Lee Ruck, former Fairfax County attorney and one of the event's planners, said the trains, which normally thunder by at 30 miles per hour, slowed to about 5 mph for the event.