As we were getting ready in the morning for a day of furniture shopping, Jamie noticed that the train across the street came to a hault. Not long after, I heard sirens and looked outside the window to see some ambulances and fire trucks rush by. I noticed that the sirens stopped as they got off right by here. That’s when I noticed that the train wasn’t moving. I shuddered and said that something bad just happened.
We counted I believe 9 police cars. We could see the train, could see people on the train, but still had no idea what had happened. The train was there about an hour before we left. I knew it couldn’t have been something as simple as someone who needed medical attention. With all those police guarding the tracks and an hour-long stopped train, it was obvious that it was something more.
So I finally checked the local news, and saw this, courtesy of PaloAltoCaNews.com (article) :
PALO ALTO, CA – A person apparently committed suicide this morning by standing in front of a Caltrain train in Palo Alto, Caltrain spokeswoman Jayme Maltbie Kunz reported.
The incident occurred around 10 a.m. one quarter-mile north of the East Meadows Crossing in Palo Alto, Palo Alto Battalion Chief Niles Broussard reported.
This man committed suicide just across the street from my apartment, while my girlfriend watched. She couldn’t see it happen, fortunately, as there were trees there. It probably would have scarred her, I’m afraid.. Man, creepy stuff. I don’t feel at all comfortable knowing a guy killed himself by train right across the street from my apartment. *shudder*
Seems odd that the emergency services made such a fuss about it though… you get about one attempted suicide every week here on the London Underground alone, let alone the rest of the country’s rail network. Pretty much a routine job for the transport police, sadly.
dude i used to live in the apartments behind the stanford park hotel (east creek drive in menlo park) near the footbridge bridge crossing into palo alto and like five people walked in front of the train in the two years we lived there, thirty feet from our deck. sad but not that rare.
I was on caltrain one day when it hit someone They lived though!
Enjoy your newly haunted neighborhood!
Apparantly, this is not uncommon for Amtrak. I have a co-worker who got delayed a few months ago on a train that ‘hit some debris on the track’. It took them about 30 minutes for them to make the complete announcement that the ‘debris’ was actually a person who had jumped in front of the train. The entire train became a crime scene, and everybody had to transfer to a different train.
In a conversation with the conductor of the train, this thing happens often enough that he knew the different crime scene policies for different states. Some states are apparantly better than others with respect to getting the train (and the many trains behind) moving again. Multiple trains got delayed for several hours apiece.
The poor engineer (driver) of the train had just finalized his divorce that morning… talk about an awful day.
he was a good man, i knew him
not a pleasant thing to go through but the caltrain drivers and conductors deal with this all the time. My uncle worked for Santa Fe railroad during WW2, imagine opening a freight car and finding a container full of frozen people?
you have a multi-ton vehicule travelling a rail system where people has complete foot access and people with problems know how ‘quick’ it happens.
it is a problem that will not go completly away.
It only takes a few steps for tragedy to happen.