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Woman Fatally Struck by Caltrain

Preliminary information suggests death may have been a suicide.

Caltrain service experienced delays Monday night after a train struck and killed a pedestrian in Menlo Park, a Caltrain spokeswoman said.

A woman was fatally struck by a southbound train at Encinal Avenue at around 7:30 p.m., spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.

The train, No. 804, was stopped at Oak Grove Avenue and its 238 passengers were transferred to another southbound train, which ran 45 minutes late, Dunn said.

The identity of the woman remained unknown, and an investigation has been launched by Transit Police. Preliminary information suggests the death may have been a suicide, according to Dunn.

Train tracks were closed in the area as emergency crews responded and northbound train No. 447 was held at Palo Alto station until the tracks re-opened after 9 p.m.

No injuries were reported among the passengers or Caltrain crew.

This is the first fatality of the year on the Caltrain tracks, Dunn said. Last year there were 16 fatalities.

Caltrain is running on a Saturday schedule today because of the holiday.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Kim R. January 03, 2012 at 08:33 AM
How sad! If a suicide, not the first at that intersection. A girl, Diana, took her life there on the tracks some years ago. So very sad! Pray for the loved ones left behind!
Irvin Dawid January 03, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Not really related - but I was on the train last night - two trains earlier. To my surprise, the train was packed - it might have been a holiday, but I was surprised by how many folks were on board - I suspect a lot of people were working. Regarding the death, we need to know more - I mean, was it a suicide or an 'accident' in the sense that it was an unintended fatality? I agree - it's sad either way, a life has been ended - prematurely most likely - but if it was a suicide, it's also sad that the 'victim' (?: I'm not sure if that would be the proper term) chose death by train. The effect on the engineer is tragic. NYT just did a write-up on Caltrain suicides: "For the Engineer, a Death on the Tracks Means Horrifying Memories", December 10, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/us/engineers-face-horrible-memories-from-deaths-on-the-tracks.html
Claudia Cruz (Editor) January 04, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Irwin, Caltrain has a very strong belief, which they've communicated with media, about not emphasizing if it was a suicide. They sent some time ago this .pdf on Recommendation About Reporting on Suicide (http://www.afsp.org/files/Misc_/recommendations.pdf) from the American Foundation on Suicide Prevention. I agree about the effect on train engineers/conductors and even passengers. I've never been on Caltrain when there has been a fatality, but I know it would haunt me.

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