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Survivor of Train Accident Dies

May 27, 1999

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ The 10-year-old Ecuadorean boy who was struck and gravely injured by a train that killed his mother and three brothers died today.

Jose Francisco Urgiles Toledo died at Bridgeport Hospital two days after the accident.

The boy, his brothers and their mother were struck by an Amtrak train as they walked across a trestle in the middle of the night. He lost most of his left leg and suffered severe brain injuries and multiple broken bones.

He was so gravely injured that relatives originally misidentified him as his 6-year-old brother.

Julia Toledo, 46, and three boys _ Pedro Urgiles Toledo, 3; Angel Gabriel Urgiles Toledo, 6; and Carlos Urgiles Toledo, 12 _ were killed instantly.

Authorities are still not certain why the family was walking the tracks at that hour of the night. But friends and family members say Julia Toledo was struggling to juggle her family, a job and an uncertain housing situation.

Friends have also noted that it is a common practice in Latin American countries to walk along railroad tracks.

The boy had been comatose since he arrived at the hospital several hours after the accident. His leg had been severed below the knee, and doctors were forced to remove an additional portion of the leg because the tissue damage was so severe.

But it was his head injury that concerned doctors most. Jose had suffered skull fractures and his brain was swelling; a second surgery was performed Wednesday to relieve some of the swelling, but his condition never improved significantly.

Toledo’s husband had returned to their native Ecuador, and she had filed for divorce in February 1998, a case which was later dropped because Toledo had not been a resident of Bridgeport long enough to file suit.

In addition, day care had been difficult to find, and Toledo had recently quit her job to care for the children.

Toledo had moved out of a Bridgeport apartment and into a shelter, and Bridgeport Police Officer Jose Reyes _ who knew the family from his work in the local DARE program _ told The Hartford Courant that Toledo feared her sister was trying to have her committed to a psychiatric facility and take guardianship of the youngsters.

No one on the Amtrak train was injured, although the engineer was treated for emotional trauma.

On Wednesday, a Metro North train struck and killed a man a half-mile from the Waterbury station. Nelson Figueroa, 52, of Waterbury was apparently lying along the side of the tracks when he was struck. He died of massive head injuries.

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