Man Killed, Another Injured at Santa Clara Caltrain Station

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    One person is dead and another in the hospital after being hit by a train going through the Santa Clara Caltrain station. Kim Tere reports. (Published Monday, Jan. 20, 2014)

    One person is dead and another in the hospital after being hit by a train going through the Santa Clara Caltrain station.

    Service was impacted for a couple hours Monday evening as authorities investigated what happened.

    The northbound train hit the two pedestrians at about 5:45 p.m., Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said. It happened on the tracks near the platform.

    The train was not scheduled to stop at the Santa Clara and, according to Caltrain officials, was likely moving between 50 and 70 mph at the time of the accident.

    “The Caltrain came by, and there was something of an unusual sound,” Caltrain rider Dave Atchley said. “You hear it and you go, ‘Oh!’”

    Atchley was waiting on the platform at the Santa Clara Caltrain station Monday afternoon when two people were hit by the northbound express train.

    “One of them was taken away to with the emergency people, and the other one was just there,” Atchley said.

    An African-American man was killed and a Hispanic man was seriously injured and taken to the hospital, according to officials.

    “The circumstances are unusual, and we need to understand what went on between the two victims and whether there was something more that needs to be investigated,” Caltrain public information officer Jayme Ackemann said. “That’s one of the things that we’ll be able to talk to the second victim about when he comes out of surgery.”

    Some witnesses said they think one of the victims may have been on a bicycle in or around the time of the accident.

    Authorities are reviewing videotape recorded on the front of the train as well as a black box recorder.

    “In addition to the crew on board, there were 70 passengers,” Ackemann said. “All of them are effectively witnesses to this kind of thing, and it is tragic and traumatic.”

    The tracks didn't reopen until shortly before 8 p.m., necessitating a bus bridge between the Sunnyvale, Lawrence and Santa Clara stations and causing delays of up to an hour.

    The man who was taken to the hospital suffered compound fractures to his leg and underwent surgery Monday night.

    Officials said ridership was light on Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

    This is the first Caltrain fatality of 2014. Last year, there were 13 fatalities on Caltrain tracks, Dunn said.


    Bay City News contributed to this report.