Town Square

Woman killed by downtown train is ID'd

Original post made on Oct 15, 2008

The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office has identified the woman struck and killed by a train at the downtown Caltrain station Monday evening as Mountain View resident Arden Sullivan, 51.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 13, 2008, 7:08 PM


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Posted by PA resident
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Commuters should not need to cross tracks at grade to catch a train. It is very tempting to run across the track if you are afraid of missing a train. A pedestrian bridge is urgently needed at this station.

My sympathies to this unfortunate woman's family.

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Posted by Debbie
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm

I arrived at the Mountain View station around 7:30 PM on the 1st train from San Jose after the accident, and saw the victim still lying in the Southbound tracks with cops hovering over her. It's disturbing enough to witness that, even more so to think she was lying there for 1 1/2 hours in plain sight of all commuters and passers-by.

Can someone confirm if it was really the victim who was lying there, or had they removed her body and that was a police employee "fill-in" to help reenact the accident? The cops were shooing people away and even so I wasn't in the mood to ask those kind of questions.

My sympathies to the family of the victim.

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Posted by Scott
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2008 at 1:43 pm

No Debbie that was the real body... bodys can only be touched or moved by the coroner... so yes that was the body the police were hovering over...

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Posted by Scott
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2008 at 1:46 pm

and sometimes it can take the coroner up to 6 hours to come get the body.. depending on if they're busy with other calls in the County...

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Posted by Mason
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2008 at 4:01 pm

I agree. A pedestrian bridge would go a long way towards possibly avoiding this type of accident in the future. I read that she was unaware of the proximity of the train, but it is hard to believe that a person would be unaware that a train is bearing down on them. Especially because they are LOUD and they have LIGHT flashing.

My condolences to her family.

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Posted by concerned
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 18, 2008 at 11:46 am

Why can't they just have a gate that comes down, like the one for cars, that blocks pedestrians from crossing the tracks when trains come along? A bridge or a tunnel underneath are the best options in the long run, but they take time, money, permits. An automatic gate could be put up in a day or two.

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Posted by Curious Observer
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 19, 2008 at 10:48 am

Curious Observer is a registered user.

There are gates there. Unfortunately, some people choose to ignore them. A pedestrian bridge isn't going to help much either. People are going to continue to take the shortest and quickest route possible (and some people simply don't want to wait. I saw a lady at the Menlo Park station on Friday morning ignore the gates and warnings and cross the tracks just seconds before the southbound train roared through the station).

Spend a few minutes at the train station during the commute hours in the morning and afternoons and you will witness several people taking risks as they rush to catch buses, trains, and the light rail. It's especially worse this year because so many more people are taking public transportation.

I'm not sure why this accident happened. It would be nice to see the MV Voice do some kind of follow up.

My condelences to the family and friends of Arden Sullivan.