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Train victim, 17, was Palo Alto student

Original post made on Jun 3, 2009

A 17-year-old girl who ended her life Tuesday night at a Caltrain crossing was identified Wednesday by friends as Sonya Raymakers, a senior at Gunn High School who had been accepted at New York University for next fall.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 4:00 PM

Comments (15)

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Posted by Terrie
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 3, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I am saddened to hear of loss of this young woman. With the pressures going on in society lately familes hearts are all heavy with burden and worries. I work in a crisis department and know to well what the pressures can be on our youth today!
My heart goes out to this girls family and loved ones as they grieve over such a huge loss.


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Posted by Rick Hyde
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 3, 2009 at 9:51 pm

CalTrain already divides our neighborhoods. HSR funds could be used to make these grade crossings safer by positively isolating people and traffic from rail. Let us not loose this opportunity to stop these needless deaths.

Rick Hyde
Mountain View


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Posted by M.L..
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 3, 2009 at 11:42 pm

I feel sad for the families but also the train engineer. 3 suicides in 1 month


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Posted by Charles Thompson
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:53 am

Do you know that there was a rail fatality on Memorial Day in Sunnyvale? An elderly man intent on committing suicide near the Home Depot parking lot in Sunnyvale, walked onto the Caltrain tracks and was struck by a northbound train? He was transported to Stanford Hospital where he died of a head injury.

How come Caltrain did not notify the press of this incident. Are they trying to hide something? Is Christine Dunn trying to hide something? What goes on at Caltrain...


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Rick, I am absolutely appalled that someone would use this terrible, terrible tragedy as an opportunity to push an agenda.


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Posted by don davis
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm

agree with eric. money for "anti-suicide" construction is wasteful. i cringe everytime i hear about suicide barriers on the GG bridge and other places. i feel terrible for the families who lose loved ones, but let's face it. people intent on killing themselves are going to find a way. if we're going to put public money anywhere, put it into suicide prevention or other social programs to help stop the implulse to end one's life too soon.


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Posted by tmwong
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Charles: You've posted all over creation about an alleged rail fatality in Sunnyvale over Memorial Day, but there's nothing anywhere in the news about it. Do you have anything concrete at all? Certainly, if Caltrain is trying to suppress news about deaths on the line, they're not doing a very good job with at least five deaths over the last six months.

Rick: Even as a supporter of HSR, I'm hard-pressed to see "stop suicides" as a good reason - or even a minor reason - for its construction.


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Posted by Marinette
a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm

People take the path of least resistance. Suicide barriers work. Through all the discussion of the barrier for the GGB, it emerged that in locations where suicides were common, once a barrier was installed, they ceased, and the number of suicides dropped. In other words, they did not go off an find another place from which to jump.


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Posted by John
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Id listen to the words he'd say
But in his voice I heard decay
The plastic face forced to portray
All the insides left cold and gray
There is a place that still remains
It eats the fear it eats the pain
The sweetest price he'll have to pay
The day the whole world went away


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Posted by phm
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I clicked the link to Sonya's award-winning short story and it's heartbreaking to read her amazing writing as an 11-year-old, and the sidebar about her many other interests and her hopes for the future. As someone who lost a 17-year-old cousin to suicide when I was 16, I send all my love to her family. I know there's nothing harder for a family to endure.


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Posted by Luxurious
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm

I keep on wondering whether more liberal policies will keep on creating more suicides rates among the best city in the bay area. Many students are failing to see a light at the end of the tunnel. This is spreading into the more affluent neighborhoods where the only complaints these residents make to police, is to enfoce parking issues that can ultimately be solved by using the old fashion way of talking to one another. Suicide is a very atrocious act that will never be justified but this story only gets the local coverage because it is in favor of those that make the laws. I always ponder and wait to see local community activist that bring real changing ideas to the local community. In order for us to get along with each other, we must do what puts fear into our minds. Shake a strangers hand and you will notice that people have good hearts.


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Posted by Rez
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 4, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I wonder if the train conductors and first on scene responders came forward and spoke about how an act like this affects them. They have to live with the horrorible image of seeing this happen. It is severely unfair to them. Suicide is a very selfish act, especially when the person chooses to drag so many people down into their dark moment. I am so sorry for all the family and friends of this girl. I do not wish to put blame on her because she was suffering from a very deadly disease: depression. I just wish that someone could speak up about the other people who are psychologically injured by this. Perhaps that could make another person think more before they chose this form of suicide.


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Posted by Mr. Worldallwrong
a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Please tell me what is wrong with the world today, I've lived here since 1945 and never heard of such a tragic scenario.


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Posted by singh
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:48 am

I asked my 22 year old son.......

What is going on?

Why is this happening all of a sudden?

He shook his head and said, "I don't know".

All High School kids need counseling. It should become a mandatory class. Replace history classes with counseling classes. Who cares what happened 1000 years ago. We should care about our youth and what is happening NOW.

THIS IS SERIOUS.

OUR YOUTH (AND EVERYONE) NEEDS TO BE EDUCATED ON SUICIDE (360 DEGREES).

They need to learn what the alternatives can be.

I HOPE THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS CONSIDER THIS AND CAN WORK IT INTO THE CURRICULUM FOR OUR FUTURE.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2009 at 9:53 am

What we need to understand with schools like Paly and Gunn, two of the most prestigious school in the country, comes with alot of pressure. These students are preparing for their life careers, and the pressure comes from all ends. Teachers, Parents, and especially themselves. Instead of children having to come to the parents all the time, parents need to talk MORE with their kids. Check in with them to see how they're doing. You'd be suprised at the reactions you may get.
Parents, please talk to your children!!


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