Important note: When the gates are down, the lights are flashing, the bells are ringing and the train horn is blasting it is not safe to cross the tracks.
If you are ever tempted to race the train across the tracks, think about the family of the young woman who had to identify her body at the Santa Clara coroner's office this evening. Think about your family and friends and how they'll react to your needless death. It's better to arrive home late but alive than to never arrive home at all.
At about 5:50 PM Monday evening, southbound train #270 was pulling into the Mountain View Caltrain station at Castro Street when a woman tried to beat the train across the tracks. She lost and was struck and killed instantly. Workers removed her remains at about 7:45 PM, after which the southbound tracks re-opened for service. Northbound trains began running again after about an hour. Southbound trains were delayed up to two hours.
Photo by Richard Masoner: A witness describes the woman who ran across the tracks to the Caltrain Transit Police. Dozens of commuters witnessed the collision during the evening commute in Mountain View, California.
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My biggest fear when I use to ride CalTrain was not getting hit or being in an accident, it was seeing someone use poor judgment and getting hit. In addition to the family of the victim, we need to consider the engineer, the emergency folks, and those in the station at the time of the accident. Geez.
Condolences to the family and friends. Horrific situation. I'd be interested to see a bunch more stats on these types of incidents. And look at emergency, simple safety measures like the warning that appear on the convex driver-side mirrors of cars - an 'Objects are closer than they appear'-type warning at pedestrian rail crossings.
I saw that woman get hit too. I don't think she knew what was going on. She wasn't running or walking fast. She was just walking really slow. I only saw her last two steps, but she seemed to me to be totally oblivious to the train or the crossing gates. It was if the crossing gate went down after she started walking across and the train timed her out. I also thought the train was going faster than usual. I wonder if she was on the phone or listening with earphones....
She was my sister. She lived on the streets for many years, a victim of schizophrenia, but was for these last three years, finally, finally, conserved and in a board and care. The mental health care system was prevented by our current laws from intervening, no matter how we petitioned, until too late in her life. The disease had taken its toll, had taken her life from her. She did not walk across those tracks by accident. It was deliberate.
Would those of you who were there that night and saw what happened please get in touch with me?