RED DEER - The metal gods were smiling on Jesse Maggrah.
The 20-year-old man was walking beside railway tracks on Sunday, the Norwegian heavy metal band Gorgoroth cranked on his portable CD player, when he was hit by a freight train.
Maggrah said he did hear the blast of the train horn just before he was hit.
"I tried to jump out of the way, but I guess not in time," he said Monday from his bed at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. "It was just instant. I was just walking and then I was on the ground. I wasn't sure what happened. Then I saw the train stopping up ahead. I thought, 'Holy crap, dude, you just got hit by a train.' "
Police say the engineer and conductor on the northbound Canadian Pacific Railway train saw the man on the tracks several kilometres south of Red Deer. The crew blew the whistle and attempted to stop, but they were only able to slow the train to about 50 kilometres per hour before hitting him.
Maggrah was thrown four to five metres from the tracks. Stunned, he moved his arms and legs to check for damage.
"I knew I was alive, so that was good."
He has several broken ribs, one of which is poking into a lung, his doctors have told him. Maggrah is also sore and stiff, and is having trouble walking.
Maggrah said he remembers the train engineer checking him to see if he was OK. "He seemed kind of scared. He didn't know if I was dead or not."
Maggrah was walking into Red Deer to watch a band jam night at a local club.
He said he didn't hear the train over his music and he didn't feel anything through the ground.
"Maybe the metal gods above were smiling on me and they didn't want one of their true warriors to die on them. Otherwise, I'd be up there in the kingdom of steel."