The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office has identified the man who was hit and killed by a train in Palo Alto Nov. 20 as Jason Whitten Lee, 19. Whitten Lee's city of residence was unknown, according to the coroner's office.
At about 5:35 a.m., northbound train No. 103 struck and killed Whitten Lee at the Charleston Avenue crossing. A preliminary investigation indicated that the incident was a suicide, Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said. Caltrain spokesman Mark Simon said the train was traveling 50 mph and was about 50 yards north of the Charleston crossing at the time of the incident. Though the engineer sounded his horn and flashed his lights, he was unable to stop the train.
"This is a tragedy for everyone," Simon said.
No injuries were reported among the 55 passengers aboard the train who were later transferred to another train at East Meadow Drive. Trains were single-tracked through Palo Alto at around 10 mph until 8:40 a.m., causing system-wide delays of up to 90 minutes during the morning commute, Dunn said.
The fatality is the 11th on the Caltrain right of way so far in 2012, five of which have been determined to be suicides, Dunn said. There were 16 Caltrain-related fatalities in 2011.
Caltrain spent $110,000 in 2010 on suicide-prevention signs to help people in crisis. Anyone in need of help is urged to call the Crisis Hotline at 650-579-0355.
Anyone who sees a trespasser near the tracks is asked to call the Transit Police immediately at 1-877-723-7245.