Woman killed by train identified as Stanford professor

Palo Alto resident had founded Mexican dance nonprofit

The Santa Clara County Coroner's office has identified the woman who was struck and killed by a train the morning of Aug. 29 as Susan Cashion, 70, a Palo Alto resident and former professor at Stanford University.

Patrice O'Dwyer, administrative manager at the dance department at Stanford, told the Weekly Friday that Cashion had been a professor at the dance division of Stanford.

She had a 35-year career at Stanford and was the founder of the nonprofit Cashion Cultural Legacy, whose mission is to research, preserve, and create materials related to Mexican dance and expressive culture, according to her Stanford biography.

She also choreographed for TheatreWorks, a local theater company, the biography states.

Cashion was struck and killed by a train at 7:35 a.m. at the Charleston Road crossing.


Like this comment
Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

"Cashion was struck and killed by a train at 7:35 a.m. at the Charleston Road crossing."

Got it wrong again. She apparently committed suicide by stepping in front of a Caltrain at 7:35 a.m. at the Charleston Road crossing.

Please don't sugar coat the news....

Like this comment
Posted by Motown
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm

I agree..moved here 2 years ago & these constant deaths by train self induced are being swept under the rug.Does that lack of critical information to our community help anyone?

Like this comment
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 31, 2013 at 8:32 am

If you click on struck and killed by a train it will tell you she walked in front of the train, it was intentional. Investigators need to make sure this was the case before saying it was an actual suicide. Have some sympathy for the family! It hasn't been sugar coated and swept under the rug.

Like this comment
Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 31, 2013 at 9:20 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment]

1 person likes this
Posted by Selfish?
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Tommy Gee,

"Suicide is always the selfish way to die."

While that's a common refrain, it also seems to fall in the category of attacking the victim. It ignores underlying reasons, conditions, and personal circumstances. While there absolutely are many friends and relatives who are deeply pained by a suicide, but that doesn't make the act selfish.

What if the one committing suicide has a terminal disease, one that will inflict increasing physical pain and/or has a prognosis for a lifetime of deteriorating motor/communication skills. A disease that will require an enormous expense to keep the person living. Perhaps the person has discussed the suicide "solution" with close relatives. Is that suicide selfish?

We just don't know enough about these situations to pass judgment. It's very sad when circumstances bring one to this decision. I'd leave it at that.

Like this comment
Posted by lindaloo
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Tommy Gee's post is offensive. So many who knew Suzie and whose lives she influenced are extremely shocked and saddened at this news. Please have some respect for us.

Like this comment
Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2013 at 12:29 pm

 Dear Neighbors & Friends,
We have heard from some who knew Susie. Those folks are in shock and grieving.
If you know anyone who is in difficult circumstances, please have them contact us. Even in these difficult
financial times there are options and those who can offer sensitive, compassionate friendship.

                                        What We Do:
We are a group of volunteers striving to provide groceries to Palo Alto families, seniors and singles who are unable to qualify for 'safety net' programs like Cal Fresh (formally food stamps) or food closet assistance. However, extra food items collected are given to local food closets. Also, our City of Palo Alto Family Resources trained volunteers provides peer counseling (case management) and referrals for other life's challenges (housing, healthcare, professional counseling, legal issues, etc.) for those who may need extra help.

Palo Alto Weekly article, "Catching neighbors who fall through the gap." Dated Friday Jan. 25, 2013
Web Link

JOIN OUR eList, send message,

Receive our monthly "wish lists", NHN updates and invitations to special events. Next event, NHN & Silicon Valley Tour de Coop Sept. 14th. 9am to 4pm, free T-Shirt for volunteers. Email us at for event details,

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