Woman hit by train in Pismo Beach

February 4, 2016

ambulance 4A train struck a 22-year-old woman who was apparently walking her bicycle on a railroad bridge in Pismo Beach Wednesday night. The woman survived with undisclosed injuries.

At approximately 10:13 p.m., police officers found Pismo Beach resident Alena Gribanova lying about 25 feet east of the tracks trestle bridge near the 300 block of Bello Street, according to the Pismo Beach Police Department.

Gribanova was alert and conscious. She told police she walking on the tracks while pushing her bicycle when she heard the train sound its horn.

She then realized the train was behind her and started running to try to get off the tracks, Gribanova told police. The train could not completely stop before striking Gribanova and her bicycle, police say.

Responders transported Gribanova to a local hospital where she received treatment for her injuries.

Neither alcohol nor drugs are suspected as factors in the collision.

In January, four people were struck and killed by trains on the Central Coast. Of the two deaths that occurred in San Luis Obispo County, one was ruled a suicide and one was listed as accidental.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I hope the train was not late.

Common belief that you’ll easily hear a train approaching from behind is clearly demonstrated as wrong, once again. This trestle is located very near the 101 freeway. Traffic noise masks train noise. Vegetation (present in this creek bed) and terrain absorbs sound. Being lost in thought distracts. The tracks here are straight. Wheels can roll very silently on straight track. Was the train under power or coasting toward the beach? Trains can surprise you and here is proof.

Also, on this trestle and most others, there is ample room to get to the side. Running was the wrong choice here. Get to the side. Crouch low.

Simple. Don’t walk on the tracks. I regret the woman was injured — and thankful she wasn’t killed — but trains often roll in near silence on welded rail and can come around a curve at track speed and be on you in a heartbeat.

I used to live about 1000 feet away from the railroad tracks and let me tell you-not only do you hear them coming, but you FEEL them. This doesn’t make too much sense.

It doesn’t make sense to you because your perceptions about trains being obvious are wrong. See above.

Freight trains are much heavier and louder than the AMTRAK trains. The AMTRAK trains travel much faster through many zones along the railway. The trains are sometimes also going in reverse. That is why people get hit by the AMTRAK trains.

I hate to break it to you but people don’t get hit by Amtrack trains because the train is going in reverse, they get hit because they are on tracks they should not be on. If you were not trespassing on the tracks you would not be hit, regardless of which way the train is going, Duh

When the train is going in reverse the engine sounds are blocked and don’t resonate as far forward down the track. That makes it even more difficult for people to hear the train coming at them.

Can still guarantee you that you will not get hit by a train if you are not doing something illegal and trespassing on the tracks, regardless if the train is going backwards or forwards.

This weeks Darwin Award goes to this 22 year-old woman that walked upon a railroad bridge at night where the space is compromised and was hit by a train. Cause and effect, where the possible additional effect will be some ambulance chaser trying to get her reparations for her outright stupidity.

How about this scenario, the engineer of this train sues this woman for emotional stress because of her possibly being killed as he put his train in emergency brake application, along with post-traumatic stress disorder. Stupidity should never be rewarded because it self perpetuates itself.

Chlorinate the gene pool!

Nice sentiment.

There’s actually ample space. Hug the wall and there’s more than a couple feet to spare.


Sorry, but if it was a kid or an animal, I would have empathy, but an adult of 22 years, nope. Conversely, a person that decides to get liquored up, then drives and kills themselves, I have no sorrow whatsoever. Only would feel sorry if any kids and family were left behind.

Like I said. Nice sentiment. Squirrels before humans.

Wow, The stupid is strong in this one.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it? Then again, I’ve NEVER done ANYTHING stupid in my life… (yes, that was sarcasm, if you need it explained).

Yes, we’ve all done stupid/silly/ridiculous/crazy/(fill in the blank) things. But walking a bike on a set of RR tracks at night will get you at least a 9.0 on the foolishness scale (I don’t like the word “stupid,” especially when someone nearly lost her life).