Two 'Tower of Power' band members in serious condition after being hit by train in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Two members of the Oakland-based R&B band "Tower of Power" are in serious condition, but expected to recover after being hit by a train Thursday night in Oakland's Jack London Square, according to the bandleader.

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In a statement posted on Facebook, Tower of Power's bandleader Emilio Castillo said doctors for drummer David Garibaldi and bassist Marc van Wageningen were cautiously optimistic about their recovery.

"Dave's head and face were pretty swollen and bruised, but he was lucid and expected to recover," Castillo said. "Marc came through surgery well; his internal bleeding was stopped and they were waiting for him to stabilize in order to do further testing."

The men were crossing the street in the 500 block of Embarcadero West at 7:39 p.m. when they were hit by the train, police said.

It appears as if they had stopped and waited at the crossing gates for a northbound Union Pacific Railroad train to pass, Union Pacific spokesman Jeff Degraff said.

As it moved out of their way, they went around the gate arms to cross the tracks but didn't see the southbound Amtrak train that struck them, Degraff said.

An investigation into the incident is being conducted by Union Pacific, Amtrak and Oakland police.

At this point it appears as if all of the crossing arms and warning lights were working correctly, Degraff said.

Degraff emphasized the need for people to be vigilant when crossing train tracks, especially in high-traffic locations like the popular Jack London Square area.

"If one train is passing in front of you, you need to be aware that another train could be behind it on the other track that you can't see,"
Degraff said. "Please pay attention to the warning signals. If they're down they're down for a reason."

Tower of Power has been active since 1968. After the Oakland shows, the band has planned concerts in Seattle, Las Vegas and the East Coast. The band has not said whether the tour will continue.
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