Coroner: Man killed by train was from Palo Alto

27-year-old 'acted intentionally,' Caltrain reports

The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office Wednesday (March 2) identified the man who died Monday evening (Feb. 28) after being struck by a train at the University Avenue station as Riyan Mynuddin, 27, of Palo Alto.

The coroner's office earlier had said Mynuddin was a resident of Stanford.

A "preliminary investigation indicates that the person acted intentionally," a Caltrain press release stated.

The coroner's office said it could release no further information about Mynuddin. Stanford said the coroner's office had been mistaken in its earlier identification of Mynuddin as a Stanford resident.

The accident happened about 7:30 p.m. when southbound Caltrain 284 struck Mynuddin at the Palo Alto station, Caltrain said.

The train was not scheduled to stop at the Palo Alto station. Caltrain is authorized to operate at a maximum speed of 79 miles an hour.

This is the fourth Caltrain fatality this year on the right of way, which stretches from San Francisco to Gilroy. Last year there were 11 fatalities on the Caltrain right of way; of those nine were determined by the coroner to be suicides and two are pending final investigation, Dunn stated.

Last year, Caltrain installed 250 suicide prevention signs along a 10-mile stretch of the right of way between Menlo Park and Mountain View. The signs, which have a hotline number to a local crisis intervention agency, are part of national study to test the effectiveness of signs in preventing suicides on railroads. The calls are tracked to determine whether the signs are effective in preventing suicides.

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Posted by sharone
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

I'm always saddened to hear of these train incidents. Maybe we need to station reserve officers to watch again for potential hazards happening? So many tragic

Like this comment
Posted by Judith
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

I think it's about time we did those grade separations.

Like this comment
Posted by Signs-Signs-Everywhere-Signs
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

> The calls are tracked to determine whether the signs are
> effective in preventing suicides.

So .. are the signs effective?

Like this comment
Posted by Just a thought
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Whenever there is a death on the tracks, the discussion arises about increasing or improving the barriers on the tracks to prevent such deaths. Ultimately, if someone is in such pain to commit suicide, or they have convinced themeselves that they must take this action, no track barriers are going to stop the suicide. Of course, the person will simply choose another method. Ultimately, such train deaths have many human impacts - not only the loss of life via suicide, but what about the train conductor who feels responsible, and the other train passengers who witness such an event? Obviously, someone who feels the need to choose death by train is choosing this method to achieve a so called "quick" result, without consideration of the impact it has on the conductor and the community at large. The ultimate question, what can we do as a society to help people to see that the choice of suicide is a permanent solution to perhaps a "temporary" disposition? Of course, we never know what others are experiencing, but therein lies the problem, we have become a society that either doesn't have time, or doesn't feel the need to openly discus our personal conditions. People just might discover that someone else has had a similar experience, and survived it.

Like this comment
Posted by Gunn Class of '67
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Wise comments Just a thought. Lousy economy et al affects everyone - saps energy to persevere. Few volunteer for stigma of mental health treatment - its a tough call. Barriers et al may prevent train incidents; do nothing for inescapable despair. A grassroots effort of non professionals to reach out to others does work to support self-empowerment. Someone to talk to about anything offers hope.

Like this comment
Posted by Wondering
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I am wondering if they truly made the mistake, or if they are trying to not put more negative things about Palo Alto. Stanford students too are expressing a lot of stress, and it will be nothing new, if a student ends his life to suicide. It is a not ok, but it is a normal reaction of the brain, when there is so much stress and fear to fail.

Like this comment
Posted by Been there during teens
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:38 am

Out of morbid curiosity, I wonder what the note read.

Ditto to above - people will find other ways to kill themselves. Suicidals feel hopeless and lonely. Environmental factors: bad home life, stress to achieve, can lead to suicidal thoughts even in a normal person. The "how can you be so selfish?" argument doesn't affect a suicidal who has lost hope.

To those high schoolers who have lost hope, know that things will improve after high school. Many people do not enjoy high school. Living with parents, cliques, studying boring subjects... it all changes and there is much happiness to be found after high school.

I have reconnected via Facebook with many "popular" Paly students who looked like they had it all (looks, wealth, etc.)and to my surprise, many were unsure about themselves and their family lives not harmonious. So don't think everyone else is confident in high school because it is an awkward age for most.

Like this comment
Posted by Joyce
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 3, 2011 at 10:04 am

It's sad that there was another fatality. I was driving on Alma right at that time on that day and saw the train pass by, but little did I know a valuable life was stuck and lost forever.

Whats wrong with our era and society adults and children equally? We are expected to do a lot more than a human can handle and the result is fatigue, stress, next stage is depression and then we have no proper community to look for some comfort just few words like hi and bye. What a culture we have created. Even if we talk most of the time we humans boast about our Mercedes, the 6 bed 7 bath house or that room for pony.

These days people hardly look into each others eyes and have a peaceful talk. Most of the time we are busy with some gadget.

Wake and smell few roses Palo Alto. Time to destress your lives!

My philosophy in life people first, money next and things next to never.

Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Who wrote the head:

Coroner: Man killed by train was Stanford resident

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Posted by Visitor from Boston
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:04 am

I happened to witness the immediate aftermath of this terrible event and send my thoughts and condolences to the friends and family of Riyan Mynuddin.

Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Disturbing news. May he rest in peace.

Like this comment
Posted by Morgan
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

damn. Riyan, was a childhood friend of mine. He was brilliant with computers and we used to spend hours playing video games on his self built network.

He was an amazing soul.

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