Mountain View Voice

News - May 7, 2010

Sunnyvale man ID'd as Caltrain victim

by Jay Thorwaldson and Martin Sanchez

A Sunnyvale man who stepped off a Mountain View train platform into the path of a speeding Caltrain commuter at 5:08 p.m. Monday, May 3, has been identified as Christian Edward Archibald, 31, according to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office would not confirm if he is the same Christian Edward Archibald, 31, of Sunnyvale who was to be arraigned Tuesday, May 4, on one charge of lewd and lascivious behavior on a child under 14. That Christian Archibald allegedly molested a 5-year-old boy in a Milipitas Walmart on March 20, District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Amy Cornell said.

Cornell said the accused man was listed in the county database as being free on bail.

Monday's train was a "limited stop" train that was going between 73 and 79 miles per hour, Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunn said.

The train was stopped some distance south of the San Antonio Station and other southbound trains were single-tracked on the northbound tracks starting at about 5:40 p.m., Dunn said.

Caltrains were delayed between 30 and 60 minutes until after 7 p.m.

Tracks were reopened to regular service at 8:30 p.m.

A tall steel fence separates the tracks to prevent any crossover by pedestrians.

Monday night, long strands of yellow "caution" tape prohibited pedestrians from entering the station as a dozen officials combed the scene. A white stretcher stood on the platform, empty. A few passersby paused to survey the station.

Dunn said the death is the fifth track fatality of 2010, somewhat below the rate of 2009, when there 19 deaths on Caltrain tracks — the second highest year since 1995, when there were fewer trains running at slower speeds.

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