An Ohio State student sustained extensive injuries early Saturday morning when he was struck by a train, but his brother said he has been “all smiles.”
Mark Kalina, a 23-year-old student in engineering and brother of the Alpha Rho Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, was hit by a train at about 2 a.m. Saturday while walking on railroad tracks near Hocking Street and Nationwide Boulevard.
He was transported to the Wexner Medical Center, according to Columbus Division of Police records, where he remains in critical but stable condition Monday evening.
Kalina was cited for criminal trespassing, according to the report.
Kalina’s younger brother and OSU student in communication Matt Kalina said he was the first one at the hospital when they had identified Mark Kalina and notified his family.
In light of the accident, he said his brother has been staying positive.
Matt Kalina said when he saw his brother, Mark Kalina made a joke: “I need to ask you a question. Is the train OK?”
Mark Kalina has had extensive damage to his legs, including the loss of his left leg and his right leg below the knee. However, Matt Kalina said his brother will be able to walk again with the help of prosthetics and rehabilitation. He also had his right pinky finger removed.
After the accident, Matt Kalina said his brother called the authorities for help himself, and waved to the helicopter attempting to locate him.
The accident has been hard on the family, but Matt Kalina said his brother’s positive attitude has made it easier to deal with.
“We’re all sticking together,” he said.
He said relatives and friends have been coming to visit Mark Kalina, and his family has been grateful for the support.
Kristen Kalina, Mark Kalina’s sister and a graduate student in education and human ecology, said in an email that “the (hospital) waiting room is constantly filled with people waiting to see him” and even though he has a long road to recovery, “he has an extremely supportive group of family and friends that are rallying behind him.”
In the first 18 hours following the incident, Kristen Kalina said her brother has had “75 plus visitors.”
Pi Kappa Alpha, better known as Pike, philanthropy chair and third-year in marketing Zach Horner said Mark Kalina has been in high spirits, and many of his brothers went to visit him in the hospital over the weekend.
Money raised from a Pike fundraising event scheduled to take place Friday will be donated to Mark Kalina’s family to help cover medical bills. The event had been planned prior to the accident with proceeds going to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, but Horner said after hearing of the accident, they decided to donate the money to the Kalina family instead.
Horner said he is expecting about 1,200 people to attend the event, a drastic increase from his initial expectations of only a few hundred.
Kristen Kalina said her brother’s attitude about the accident has been encouraging and “Mark’s story is not based around the tragic accident but the amazing survival and recovery that he is working through right now. It is in the smile on his face and the courage in his words.”
Dave Isaacs, spokesman for the Office of Student Life, declined comment on the incident.
There have been several safety incidents involving OSU students Fall Semester. First-year student Rachel Stump was involved in an Aug. 19 accident where she was hit by a drunk driver near the South Campus Gateway. Stump was transported to the Medical Center where she was in a coma and critical condition for several days. She has woken up but is still recovering from the accident.
OSU student Yifan Gu was involved in a collision with a cyclist outside Chumley’s on High Street Sept. 6. Gu was transported to the Medical Center, and information on her condition or status within the hospital was unavailable Monday night.
First-year student James Daniel Hughes was involved in a Sept. 5 accident on Woodruff Avenue. Hughes was run over by a dump truck while riding his bike. He was transported from the scene to Wexner Medical Center, where he remained in stable condition Monday evening. As a result of the accident, Hughes had one of his legs amputated and his lawyer Steve Crandall said he has undergone significant surgeries since the incident.