A 51-year-old Kamloops man is in hospital with serious burns and a deep gash on his head after a bizarre sequence of events Wednesday.
Kamloops RCMP have added to the man's misery by saying he's a person of interest in an assault on a bus driver last week.
Police were called to the Gateway Estates Mobile Home Park on the 7500-block of Dallas Drive Wednesday at about 3 p.m. after someone saw a grass fire nearby, Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said in a press release.
As firefighters put out the flames, a witness reported seeing a man flee the area on a bike soon after the fire started.
While officers were on their way, CP Rail operations staff contacted police about a freight train crew reporting they had hit a pedestrian more than a kilometre from Peerless Way by the Trans-Canada Highway. They stopped the train and were walking back to find the man.
When police arrived, they found an intoxicated man with serious burns to his body and a cut to his head where he'd been hit by the train.
Police investigating pieced together a story that the man was lying in the field by the mobile home park and he fell asleep while smoking. When he woke up, his clothes and the surrounding grass were on fire. He ran from there to his home at the mobile home park, grabbed a bike and took off.
He was continuing along the CP tracks when he was hit by the train at an old level crossing that had been closed.
He was taken and admitted to RIH for treatment.
Learned said the investigation is now branching into whether the bike was stolen and whether the man is a person of interest in last Thursday's assault of a transit driver in Dallas.
Investigators believe the fire was accidentally caused by smoking materials.