A 19-year-old woman who was struck by a train Friday afternoon near downtown Palo Alto has died, Caltrain confirmed. She was identified by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner as Sarah Marie Longyear.
She was a 2014 graduate of Gunn High School, according to a message Palo Alto Unified Superintendent Max McGee sent to staff and parents Saturday.
Longyear sustained significant injuries after she was hit by a northbound train near Palo Alto Avenue, according to Caltrain. She was transported, alive, to Stanford Hospital but died there, according to Caltrain spokesperson Jayme Ackemann. The coroner's office on Tuesday determined that she died by suicide.
Longyear had struggled with "significant" depression, according to her family.
"Many more people than we know are dealing with mental health issues, and suicides are far too common," they wrote in her obituary. "We urge everyone to be mindful of their loved ones and talk about mental health and suicide. If you feel a loved one may be considering suicide, please ask them."
The Friday incident occurred at about 3 p.m., near the Transit Center in downtown Palo Alto.
Trains were stopped in both directions while officers from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office investigated the incident.
Ackemann said northbound train #155 returned to the downtown station, where passengers got off and the boarded the next northbound train.
Shortly after the incident, Alma Street was closed to traffic at Hawthorne Avenue and at Alma and El Camino Real. Northbound traffic was diverted to Hawthorne. Alma reopened in both directions just after 4 p.m.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority provided a bus service for passengers between the Menlo Park, Palo Alto and California Avenue stations.
Grief counselors, mental-health therapists and psychologists will be available to support students and teachers at Gunn and throughout the school district on Monday and throughout the week, McGee wrote in his message to the school community.
"I also would like to stress that it is imperative for all of us to be vigilant and keep a close eye on our children and to encourage them to look after one another," he wrote.
Any person who is feeling depressed, troubled or suicidal is urged to call 1-800-784-2433 to speak with a crisis counselor. People in Santa Clara County can also call 1-855-278-4204.
Links below provide resources where one can receive help and safety information: