UPDATE: Man hit by train connected to grass fire
Kamloops Mounties have confirmed the man hit by a train in Dallas on Wednesday, Oct. 3, is the same person suspected of having sparked a grass fire a short time earlier.
The man is also a suspect in the assault of a transit driver last month.
The fire, which police say was likely inadvertently lit, drew firefighters to the 7500-block of Dallas Drive at about 2:30 p.m.
About 30 minutes later, emergency personnel were called to a rail crossing east of the fire, where a man on a mountain bike had been hit by a passing train.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said the 51-year-old victim is the same man witnesses reported seeing fleeing the area of the grass fire on a bike.
He was suffering serious burns — presumably from the fire — and a deep gash on his head, Learned said.
The victim was conscious and spoke with investigators, who now believe he fell asleep while smoking near a Dallas trailer park.
"When the man woke up, both his clothes and the grass around him were on fire," Learned said.
"He fled the fire scene and went to his residence in the mobile-home park, where he grabbed a bicycle and left the area."
Learned said the man is also a suspect in a Sept. 27 incident in Valleyview in which a city bus driver was punched after refusing service to an intoxicated passenger.
No charges have been laid and Learned said investigations are ongoing.