News


Train kills bicyclist on Menlo Park tracks

Click on photo to enlarge.

By Sandy Brundage

Almanac Staff Writer

A northbound train struck and killed a man on the Ravenswood tracks in Menlo Park at 9:30 a.m. Friday, according to Caltrain.

Almanac photographer Michelle Le reported from the scene that the victim appeared to be a man with a silver road bike and helmet. She said the bike did not seem dented, and emergency officials speculated that he may have been walking the bike across the tracks.

A Caltrain representative described the body as unusually intact, suggesting that the train had approached at low speed.

Northbound trains 230 and 233 were stopped. Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said the 330 passengers on train 233 were transferred to train 135 at the Redwood City station.

Trains 132 and 134, heading south, were also halted. By 11:50 a.m., tracks in both directions reopened and Caltrain reported no delays.

Statistics from the agency count this as the fourth death on the Caltrain right-of-way this year; in 2011, there were 16 fatalities.

Over the years, Caltain has installed no trespassing signs and signs listing a crisis hotline number every 500 feet along the 55-mile railroad to try to reduce fatalities.

"No matter what the circumstances, it is always regrettable when a life is lost," said Caltrain spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew in an email. "Caltrain reminds everyone to be safe around train tracks. Caltrain also would like to thank our passengers for their patience as we deal with these sad incidents."

The San Mateo County coroner will make the final determination of the cause of death, and investigators continue to piece together what happened.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by SuchATragedy
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 9, 2012 at 11:21 am

The bike had at least one red pack on the right side in the back. Such a tragedy. Our prayers go out to the person's family.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by chelle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm

This was a tragic event. However, I do not know why this headline refers to a "bicyclist". This man left his bike at Axis, at the corner of Ravenswood and Alma, where he had been sitting for a while before this incident. He was not cycling anywhere when this happened, nor was he walking his bike across the tracks when he was struck.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Member
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm

The Almanac and its writer should be taken to task for this very, very misleading headline. I know someone who witnessed this. The young man deliberately threw himself under the train. His bike was across the street.

Don't your reporters talk with the police? The title implies the train struck the individual while he was biking, when in fact the train had started to pull out of the MP station and the individual approached the train several cars behind the engine.

Shame on you, Almanac, Sandy Brundage and Michelle Le for trying to sensationalize this tragic incident.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Mar 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Thank you "Member" The entire article is shameless and bogus storytelling rather than journalism.

The bike was left behind and that's why it "did not seem dented." Eyewitnesses said the victim was not riding or walking with the bike...he had left it behind.

Were these irresponsible "journalists" distorting this sad suicide to imply commuter rail (hence, HSR) is unsafe? This is a terrible story, but clearly a person has to make an effort to subvert the multiple safety measures at this station to get in front of a train.

Reporters: Is this what you went to journalism for? How do you look in the mirror?

Do we get rid of the Golden Gate Bridge, and any future bridge, because of the tragic suicides that have occurred there?

Shameless stirring a political pot -- standard in this area.


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