SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, July 31, a man illegally trespassing on the train tracks was struck and killed by a southbound Caltrain.
Caltrain spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew said in a news release that the man, who is still unidentified, was struck by the #360 train at 4:17 p.m. in close proximity to the 22nd Street station. About 400 passengers were in commute at the time.
Bartholomew described the July 31 situation to KRON 4, saying, “Train #360 [was] stopped in the southbound tunnel, and emergency personnel and train crews [were] working to get the train moved as quickly as possible. Northbound train #159 [was] holding at Bayshow.”
After the incident, trains began single-tracking (only running on one track) through the 22nd Street station. The station fully reopened within two hours. At approximately 6:30 p.m., all trains were back on schedule and running their scheduled routes.
According to KRON 4, Muni helped mitigate travel delays by providing a bus bridge (a temporary shuttle system designed to bypass trouble areas) between the Caltrain Bayshore and San Francisco stations.
It is still not clear as to why the man was on the tracks, but Caltrain officials state that a majority of such collisions are the result of suicides.
“The investigation into the cause of this incident is ongoing, but no matter what the circumstances, it is always regrettable when life is lost,” said Barholomew.
This fatality marks the 16th of this year. Most recently, a 61-year-old San Bruno man was struck by a Caltrain on Tuesday, July 28, when trespassing on the tracks. He later died at the hospital after the collision. Depending on how the rest of the year goes, 2015 may surpass 1995’s established record of 20 deaths in a single year.
Caltrain has recently announced that they are working to improve safety along their tracks by hopefully installing a camera system, which would detect people who trespass into dangerous zoning.