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Original post made
on Jun 18, 2014
Does anyone know what percentage of Caltrain vs pedestrian fatalities are accidents vs suicide?
Another whitewashed story of suicide...
Many people committing suicide have a history of mental illness. Suicide is not a common response to challenges. Hopefully there will be a follow up article with more background on the individual who committed suicide and the warning signs they may have exhibited.
Please be clear and address this as "suspected suicide" and not "pedestrian". The impression is that someone walking across the tracks was killed, whereas you clearly note that the gentleman was hiding behind on object off the normal walkway and placed himself in front of the train.
There is a big difference especially in light of concerns about safety at that crossing.
Could someone please explain to me why the train even needs to stop? It's not like it could swerve to avoid hitting the person, we know who the engineer is so we can interview him/her later and the passengers would get to continue to work on time.
The fatality was reported to Caltrain at approximately 10:15 a.m.
All 103 passengers remained inside the train until the coroner arrived at the scene around 11:42 a.m. and recovered the body, when the train was allowed to continue southbound.
Does the Coast Guard shut down San Francisco Bay if someone jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge?
Tell me again how wonderful mass transit can be.
Suicide by Train
Caltrain spokesman Jayme Ackermann said, "it's an unfortunate circumstance that occurs as long as there is public access to the train tracks."
People who are intent on suicide by train will be able to do it even if there is no public access but trains need to be separated from foot, bicycle, and motor vehicle traffic. Mountain View has a number of crossings where this is needed and the sooner we start the better, as far as I am concerned.
I realize high speed rail is likely to pay some or all of the cost if we wait but this means accepting their way, when we might prefer a different way; and it means more unnecessary deaths. The City Council needs to study this crossing problem, high speed rail, and our neighbors in a comprehensive way (perhaps even jointly with Palo Alto and Sunnyvale) to come up with the best outcome for all.
Keeping the passengers on the train for 1.5 hrs for their "safety" is ridiculous, not to mention dangerous for those with health issues. Caltrain needs to come up with a better gameplan for these unfortunate but all too frequent occurrences. Off the to of my head, with all train traffic stopped for an hour, maybemaybe the conductors and a few cops could have offloaded one car at a time. What other ideas do people have?
The newspaper is understandably reluctant to describe these incidents as likely suicides because they don't want to encourage copycats. However, I still think they should help to educate the public on mental health programs that help to prevent suicides. Every one of these articles needs to include contact information for suicide prevention hotlines. These phone numbers are not easy to find, especially by people who are suffering from mental illness.
"An adult male pedestrian was struck and killed by a Caltrain in Mountain View Wednesday morning, Caltrain officials said."
So wrong, it should say man walked in front of train died.
Trains don't run over people, its stupid that walk right in front of them. Probably a suicide.
I did see when the man die.
It was not easy to understand what I was seen, but yes it was a man who decide to kill his self, I know this man it was in the wrong mind. I been having a head time, but I had been pray for his soul, and helping God forget hem.
Now everytime I hear the train go bye I get the feeling of sadness. I know it was nothing I can't do to save help.
It's sad to see the combination of ignorance and intolerance.
Someone dies and it automatically becomes a crime scene. Letting hundreds of potential witnesses walked away until a crime is disproven is a bad idea.
Incredibly insensitive to publicize a victims mental health history and details on how it ended.
I sincerely hope that candidates for the MV City Council will join the effort to plan to bring frequent, safer, electrified, around the Bay BART up the Peninsula, replacing the deadly back-and-forth, limited capacity, traffic congesting, long-since outdated (1864)trackage, just as BART has done for much of its East Bay trackway. This 6/18/14 death is the fourth of six so far this year, the 48th since 1/1/2011, and 208 since 1/1/1995. Terrible that this easy or accidental death method by government-run transit is tolerated in the Silicon Valley, land of creativity and innovation, and, for Caltrain, the land of creative destruction...and replacement by BART. MV Council candidates ought to know that MV supported both BART taxes, in 2008 by 68% (two-thirds), and, BART offers the best long-term Transportation Demand Management tool for MV employees of city, Google, Samsung, and other high-tech firms who live in the East Bay and now much commute by Car. BART Around The Bay (my blog) advocates this ultimate, maximum transit solution back to the original vision of BART now that all counties have voted to not only support BART, but also tax themselves for it, indeed even without actual plans to extend BART to their city--yet, like MV! We need the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Bay Area Council to join the effort for BART around the Bay...to save lives, and, reduce cost by using the already-govt-owned ROW of Caltrain.
Only because you asked for someone to explain to you "why the train even needs to stop" I will.
The body, or dying person, could be getting dragged along as the train continues. Removal of the person is imperative, in case they may be saved, but, dead or alive, to document everything exactly to rule out that the person was pushed or perhaps stumbled. To most carefully and thoroughly investigate the scene, including taking statements from all witnesses, can reveal specifics of what had occurred, and thereby can help bring closure to the person's relatives and friends. Doing otherwise would doom those who care about this young man to wondering and considering all scenarios for the rest of their lives.
I do agree with the idea that as officials finished speaking with witnesses in each train car, they should have been allowed to board another train, train car by train car, instead of getting trapped for so long.
It has been a very well researched and documented fact that abundant lives would be saved on the roadways if all grade crossings were separated: Trains from cars, from bicycles, and from pedestrians. To go further and keep all of these separated from each other as they proceed, in addition to when they cross each others' paths, is the only safe way to protect people from the harm that comes when things that are mismatched in size collide.
The cost to separate all train crossings across the nation was calculated in the 1950's, and what was a paltry sum deterred it from happening. Money was more important than people.
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