Manitoban shares cautionary tale of being hit by train while walking, listening to headphones
A Manitoban who was hit by a train while he was walking and listening to headphones is sharing his story in the hopes of encouraging others to be safe.
Christian Siha was walking to school one day in 1993 in Portage la Prairie.
He said it was a cool fall day and he had his hood up and was listening to music through headphones as he walked across train tracks.
"I didn't hear the train…or see it coming until the last minute and then I was hit by the train," said Siha.
He was thrown about 20 feet, ending up with a punctured lung, internal bleeding and brain swelling. "I can't believe that I see cars get hit and get crushed and that's metal. I'm just flesh and bones."
Siha spent a month in a coma, but quickly recovered after the collision and has no long-term injuries.
Siha hopes sharing his story means others become more aware of their surroundings.
"When you're outside…have (headpones) on at a lower volume so you can hear cars, you can hear honking," said Siha.
Lisa Reid, a doctor of audiology, said more and more people are going outside wearing headphones. She said not only can it damage hearing in the long run, it can also pose other dangers with being distracted.
"When they are listening to music, often they are doing something else as well - exercising, riding the bus, mowing the lawn. They have to turn the music louder to turn above that background noise," said Reid.
Self-defence experts said listening to loud music through headphones can also lead to trouble.
"(You can) walk into a confrontation and not even know what's happening," said Kim Marshall, a self-defence expert.
Lawmakers in two states in the U.S. have been looking into banning joggers and pedestrians from wearing headphones.
In Canada, some companies have already banned headphones.
"The more awareness you have, the better choices you can make about being in the right place at the right time," said Gord Gillis from Safety Services Manitoba.
Police said drivers and cyclists can also be ticketed if they have headphones on in both ears. Along with the need for people to keep their eyes on the road, officers said people also need to be able to hear what's going on as well.
- with a report from CTV's Jillian Taylor