News


Coroner IDs Caltrain fatality

Jim Kelly, 64, of San Jose struck by train Sunday

A train struck and killed an adult at the Charleston Road crossing in Palo Alto on Sunday afternoon, Caltrain confirmed.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office has identified the victim as Jim Kelly, 64, of San Jose.

Southbound Caltrain No. 802 hit Kelly around 12:45 p.m., Caltrain spokeswoman Jayme Ackemann said.

Due to track work being done by VTA in Mountain View, the train involved was moving through a crossover to begin single tracking through the work site at the time of the incident, Ackemann said. As a result, both tracks were shut down until about 3:20 p.m., when single tracking began. Both tracks were reopened by about 4 p.m.

VTA set up a bus bridge in the northbound and southbound directions for passengers between the downtown Mountain View and California Avenue Caltrain stations; it was cancelled as of about 3:20 p.m.

Comments

6 people like this
Posted by Corcerned Palo Altan
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 25, 2015 at 2:03 pm

The worst thing is that the guard did not see it, even though he was there. Only the cars who were waiting for the train to pass witnessed it, children were in those cars. Really traumatic experience for these kids. [Portion removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Pahills
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Pahills is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 25, 2015 at 2:16 pm

@pahills - PAPD tweeted that the victim was an adult. But best to wait for more info.

‏@PaloAltoPolice 2 minutes ago
Update on @Caltrain_News incident: the person who was fatally struck by the train is an adult, not a juvenile.


7 people like this
Posted by Concerned Palo Altan
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

[Post removed.]


18 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm

My sympathy to the witnesses to this devastating scene, the guard, the CalTrain workers, and all emergency personnel who have to spend the rest of their lives coping with this horrific experience. I am very sorry there are people suffering with depression and other suicidal mental states in our community, but there are resources to turn to: Good Samaritan hotline, the guard, counselors.


5 people like this
Posted by Mary W. Shelley
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 25, 2015 at 2:59 pm

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by community
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2015 at 4:02 pm

The news blackouts do not help and are taking things too far.


9 people like this
Posted by ??
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 25, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Waiting to hear how it was that the crossing guard didn't see this. There has never been a more important time than now for everyone to be vigilant. Prayers to our community.


41 people like this
Posted by CRW
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm

CRW is a registered user.

Granted, it's a super boring job (mine can be boring too), but every time I drive by those guards, they are all staring intently in their little smart phones or even fast asleep. I don't blame them, rather I blame whoever thought up that "band aid" solution to the problem. What are those guards supposed to do, run after anyone they see near the tracks and tackle them, really?


16 people like this
Posted by Rose A
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Rose A is a registered user.

My sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased, as well as the witnesses to his passing. I'm very and sincerely for your loss. This situation is so sad.

Rose in SV


23 people like this
Posted by Be Kind PA
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jan 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Be Kind PA is a registered user.

My sympathies go to everyone involved, especially the family of the deceased and those unfortunate to have seen it.

[Portion removed.] I was shocked by how close the track guard's assigned post was to the apparent collision - no more than 20 feet away. [Portion removed.] If this can happen on a beautiful, sunny day, in broad daylight, I have to wonder how effective it is to have track guards at all.

I am not criticizing the track guards, or questioning what played out in this particular incident, but simply questioning the effectiveness of the concept of "track guards." Perhaps the money could be better spent.


29 people like this
Posted by Parent1
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 25, 2015 at 11:04 pm

Parent1 is a registered user.

I drive over the tracks 4 times per day at the Charleston crossing and the guards are ALWAYS alert and paying attention, standing at the gates, and looking both ways on the tracks when the bells start sounding. I've never even seen one sitting down, even one who seemed to be hobbling on a bad leg, I thought, gee poor guy needs to have a seat.


20 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Jan 26, 2015 at 10:51 am

Jonathan Brown is a registered user.

Grade separation at these crossings (or putting the train in an underground tunnel) would really help. How many lives need to be lost before our politicians deem the expense worth it?


19 people like this
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2015 at 11:13 am

KP is a registered user.

I live on E Meadow...I pass the security guys day and night many times. They are always alert and I see them even walking up the tracks a bit on each side.
If this was accidental, I have nothing to say, but sorry for the family and all of the witnesses. BUT, if this was another suicide, all I can say is, WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY. That would be a reason why our security guy didn't see this. People can do what they want to.


18 people like this
Posted by relentlesscactus
a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2015 at 11:48 am

relentlesscactus is a registered user.

What no one wants to hear is that nothing can be done. The guard could not have done anything. The guards are a "feel good" thing that is useless. [Portion removed.] You can't fence off all the tracks, because it's an open right of way from the stations and crossings. Grade separations will take decades. This isn't about "stress" or "culture", it's about mental illness. [Portion removed.] They just want the suffering to end. They may be attracted by effectiveness of trains in doing the deed that they hear about in the media. [Portion removed.] There is little we can do. Not guards, not fencing, not signs. That may be a hard reality to take, because we want to help.


25 people like this
Posted by lunarrays
a resident of another community
on Jan 26, 2015 at 1:41 pm

lunarrays is a registered user.

i wish people who post here would not treat this as a suicide...not every person killed by caltrain is a suicide...caltrain cuts through most peninsula cities and people need to get from one side to the other and crossing those tracks can be a challenge, even a regulated crossing...the peninsula has long ago outgrown traditional trains...far too much traffic, auto and pedestrian, is in direct conflict with caltrain...not to mention the amount of wasted fuel and car pollution cause by tens of thousands of cars sitting at crossings...we need a bart extension from millbrae to san jose...


Like this comment
Posted by shellykay
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 27, 2015 at 8:59 am

shellykay is a registered user.

Separated crossings = electrification = high speed trains (maybe) = less or no more fatalities


1 person likes this
Posted by relentlesscactus
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2015 at 11:09 am

relentlesscactus is a registered user.

pie = sky


1 person likes this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Reality Check is a registered user.

According to Caltrain, over the last 5 years, about 90% of the 13-14 deaths per year on their tracks turn out to be suicides. The rest are presumed accidental, but surely include some suicides for which there wasn't enough evidence to rule them as such.

Here's the citation: Web Link

So this works out to an average of around 1 accidental death per year on a nearly 50-mile corridor carrying upward of 60,000 rides per workday with most peak-period trains nearing or exceeding standing-room only, with the average ride distance being around 23 miles.

It would be interesting to know how this compares to the accidental death per person-mile-traveled on the Peninsula's roads.


Like this comment
Posted by shellykay
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 28, 2015 at 7:11 am

shellykay is a registered user.

Accidents, or suicides are still deaths. What difference does it make if 6 people or 6 million people ride the train per day. Reality check is publishing useless statistics.


Like this comment
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Reality Check is a registered user.

@shellykay states the obvious: suicides are deaths. What the "useless" suicide stats tell us is that over 90% of the deaths are intentional and therefore have nothing to do with safety or lack thereof. Since suicidal people have jumped in front of BART and Caltrain at station platforms, as happened earlier this month at SF's Powell St. station, or has happened in the past at Palo Alto's University Ave. Caltrain station, it should be noted that fencing or grade separations can only prevent the tiny fraction of accidental track deaths. It should also be noted that the main value of posting guards -- or even more costly sworn police officers -- who cannot stop someone from stepping in front of a train -- is making the community and its leaders merely feel like they are "doing something" about a difficult problem they are, apparently, at a loss to solve any other way.


1 person likes this
Posted by relentlesscactus
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2015 at 6:29 pm

relentlesscactus is a registered user.

OK, I made the exact same point in my post of Jan 26, 2015 at 11:48 am, and that portion of my post was removed. If there was a standard that describing ways people could off themselves was a standard (not the intent of my post to help with that, but to say why it can't be stopped) I could understand two of the three removals, though the third completely stumped me. However, this post makes exactly the same point I was making and yet it remains. What is the standard here with these text portion removals?


Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Crescent Park Dad is a registered user.

I have to agree that elevated or trenched, the attraction will not change or be deterred.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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