Lincoln High School Student Struck, Killed by Caltrain

Area where teen was struck and killed is well known short cut, according to students

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013  |  Updated 9:34 AM PDT
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Lincoln High School Student Struck, Killed by Caltrain

Donae Johnican had just won a music award at Lincoln High School in San Jose.

Well-wishers for a high school student musician killed Tuesday by a passing train near San Jose Diridon station are to take part in a private vigil Thursday, a school district spokesman said.

Donae Johnican, 16, a junior at Lincoln High School in San Jose, was the person struck and killed by a Caltrain line, said Paul Higgins, spokesman for the San Jose Unified School District.

 Higgins said that parents, family members and friends of Donae plan to attend the evening vigil but he declined to divulge the time and location citing the wishes of the mourners.

"We're saddened to learn of the loss of Donae and we offer our condolences to the family," Higgins said. Caltrain officials reported Tuesday that a pedestrian had been hit and killed by train No. 263 south of Diridon station near West Virginia Street at about 4:05 p.m.

The northbound train had recently left Tamien Station with only one passenger on board, transit officials said.

The school district recruited grief counselors to come on the Lincoln campus at 555 Dana Ave. today and tomorrow to help students cope with the tragedy, Higgins said.

Donae was an aspiring musician and guitar player at Lincoln, a high school for the performing arts, according to a video he posted Feb. 26 on YouTube (see below). In the two-minute video, on a channel called Silicon Valley De-Bug, Donae is seen playing his guitar on a sidewalk and talking about writing songs.

"I put my emotions into music and I find it's really hard to if you're not putting your emotions into it," he said. "I like to say this to a lot of people: music can change the world, all you need is the right song."

Donae said that he started his interest in music in the sixth grade and started playing the guitar in the seventh grade.

"Teaching is not just a job, it's like a gift from God," he said. "The kids and teachers need to put in 100 percent for the school to be a good school."

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office's Transit Police Bureau is investigating Donae's death, Caltrain spokesman Jayme Ackemann said.

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