By Paul Leighton
---- — BEVERLY — A man died after he was struck by a train near Gloucester Crossing yesterday, despite the efforts of a married doctor couple who happened to be passengers on the train and quickly came to his aid.
Authorities said the man, whom they had not identified as of last night, suffered “severe head trauma” when he was struck by the Boston-bound commuter train on the tracks across from Briscoe Middle School about 12:30 p.m.
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo described the victim as a “local man in his mid-50s.” Transit police said the man was trespassing on the tracks when he was hit by the train.
Arthur Pancioli and Rita Girard, doctors from Cincinnati who were finishing up a vacation in the Boston area to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, immediately got off the train to treat the victim.
“We’re both doctors, and God gave us a skill set, and we wanted to use it,” Pancioli said. “When you see something like this, you just want to help.”
Pancioli said he and his wife were the first to arrive at the victim. Paramedics arrived quickly, but the man was unconscious and near death, Pancioli said.
“The paramedics did a superb job,” he said.
“We were just trying to support them. You’re fairly limited in what you can do.”
Pancioli is chairman of the department of emergency medicine at the University of Cincinnati’s Academic Health Center. He said he has treated eight to 10 victims of train accidents in his career.
Pancioli and Girard were returning to Boston from Rockport, where they stayed while attending the St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester.
Beverly police Detective David Richardson said Pancioli and Girard were “very instrumental” in trying to help the victim.
Transit Police are investigating the circumstances of the accident. The victim was struck a few hundred feet north of the Gloucester Crossing intersection at the corner of Cabot and Rantoul streets. No passengers were injured, Richardson said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or email@example.com.