A passenger train struck and killed a girl on the tracks Friday night in Palo Alto at the same crossing where two teenagers were fatally hit by trains earlier this summer, according to Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunn.
The girl was a 13-year-old Terman Middle School student, Dunn said, who was struck by a southbound train at around 10:45 p.m. at the East Meadow Drive crossing. Palo Alto police and paramedics were the first ones on the scene, and a suicide note was found there, she said.
The girl is among 10 people to be fatally struck by a Caltrain train this year, including two in Mountain View: a 29-year-old woman in May and a 42-year-old woman just two weeks ago. Both were killed near the San Antonio station.
Palo Alto's East Meadow Drive crossing, meanwhile, has seen several teenage suicides this year. On May 5, a 17-year-old boy was struck and killed there; messages from officials at Gunn High School, where the boy was a student, indicated his death was a suicide. Another Gunn student, a 17-year-old girl, was killed by a train on June 2, also at that crossing.
In response to the latest incident, Palo Alto police plan "a large presence" at schools and train crossings this week to reach out to the community's young people. Dunn said Caltrain officials will soon be working alongside a mental health task force that will include mental-health professionals.
"This is a community issue that needs to be addressed," she said.