Man hit by Light Rail train remains in critical condition

SEATTLE -- The man who was critically injured Monday afternoon when he was hit by a Light Rail train was on his way to Safeco Field for the Mariners' home opener.

Dwayne Heier remains in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center after Monday's horrific accident.

A friend who was with him Monday said they wanted to take a train to the game because they thought it would be easier than dealing with traffic.

Ian Brinker said he, Heier and a group of friends attend the home opener every year.

"We're waiting, we've got the tickets, we're just waiting for him," Brinker said. "And we see the train coming. I saw it at the other end -- the light -- and all of a sudden someone screams out, 'Someone's been hit.'"

Brinker looked through the train's windows to see who it was and he soon realized it was Heier.

"I just froze. I didn't know what to do. It was just horrible," Brinker said.

Heier was crossing the street after getting a bottle of water at a nearby convenience store when he was hit.

"He almost made it but he was clipped right as he was crossing over," said witness Jennifer Blanco.

Blanco was waiting to cross the street from the opposite side when she saw the collision.

"The train was honking to get out of the way and he didn't get out of the way in time," she said.

The train operator told investigators Heier was dodging traffic. After he was hit, the train came to an abrupt stop.

"We just dead stopped on the dime. I was standing up and I fell," said witness Ron Salazar.

His friends desperately hope Heier will pull through and continue their baseball tradition.

"I think opening day is not going to be the same again if he's not there with us. I can't even imagine that, if he wasn't there with us on opening day," Brinker said.

A Sound Transit spokesman said all of the lights and warning signals were working properly when the crash happened.