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TEEN WHO HITCHED A RIDE ON TRAIN ENDS UP 2,000 MILES DOWN TRACK

SHARE TEEN WHO HITCHED A RIDE ON TRAIN ENDS UP 2,000 MILES DOWN TRACK

Mike Wright just wanted a quick ride into town when he jumped a train near his home in western Kentucky. He ended up traveling 2,000 miles.

A couple of railroad workers who heard Wright's calls for help freed the Kentucky teenager from an insulated produce car on Monday - a week after he first entered it."He wasn't walking too straight, but he had a big smile on his face," said crew hauler Jackie Dunlap.

Wright, 17, told his rescuers he had jumped aboard a train Aug. 14 as a quick way into the small town of Crofton, Ky. But the train did not stop until it reached Evansville, Ind., 65 miles to the north.

He switched trains and, believing he was on his way back home, fell asleep. He awoke to find someone had closed and latched the car door.

A week later, Dunlap and yard switchman Les Stuplich parked their truck beside the boxcar, preparing to separate some boxcars from a 30-car string. That's when they heard Wright calling for help and freed him.

Stuplich said Wright looked terrible but was fine except for being dehydrated and hungry.

"He said, `I've run away from home a couple times, but I didn't mean to this time,' " Dunlap said.

Wright, who was wearing tennis shoes, shorts and a T-shirt, was treated at a hospital and was waiting with state officials Tuesday for his family to arrive from Kentucky.