Caltrain's Brutal End to 2009

Thursday, Dec 31, 2009  |  Updated 12:45 PM PDT
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Caltrain's Brutal End to 2009

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This year was the deadliest for Caltrain since 1995 after two people were fatally struck by trains Thursday morning, according to an agency spokeswoman.

A woman trespassing on the tracks near the Santa Clara Caltrain station was killed after express train No. 305 hit her at 5:50 a.m., spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.

Less than three hours later, a man was then killed in San Jose after he drove a small pickup truck onto the tracks at the Auzerais Avenue crossing and was hit just after 8:30 a.m., according to San Jose Fire Department Capt. Barry Stallard.

Before the man was killed, a second driver was stopped at the crossing and waiting for a train to pass, Stallard said. The victim pulled around that driver and was hit by southbound train No. 210 as he crossed the  tracks.

The man was dead by the time emergency personnel arrived.

Neither victim has been identified, but the man appeared to be between 35 and 45 years old, according to Stallard.

The two victims brought the number of Caltrain-related fatalities up to 19 this year, the most since 20 people were killed in 1995, Dunn said. Last year, 16 people were killed.

The deaths led to delays throughout the Caltrain system, with trains running up to 90 minutes behind schedule in some areas. Several trains were canceled or rescheduled, including express trains that began making  local stops.

The tracks at both crash sites were closed for about an hour after the incidents, according to Dunn.

Trains traveling around the San Jose site were still using reduced  speeds as of 11:15 a.m. Some trains were still delayed by 40 minutes at that time, and Dunn said the delays were expected to last until noon.

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