UCSF researcher killed by train in Menlo Park | January 11, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



News - January 11, 2012

UCSF researcher killed by train in Menlo Park

by Tyler Hanley and Sandy Brundage

The San Mateo County Coroner's Office has identified the woman killed by a train at Encinal Avenue in Menlo Park on Jan. 2 as Jasmine Ahluwalia, 31, of Palo Alto.

Ms. Ahluwalia was killed when a southbound train struck her around 7:37 p.m. She was a post-doctoral researcher at University of California, San Francisco, a UCSF spokesperson confirmed Jan. 6.

She relocated from India to San Francisco and joined the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF in August 2011, university spokesperson Elizabeth Fernandez said. Ms. Ahluwalia worked in the laboratory at UCSF's Mission Bay campus and specialized in stem-cell research.

"Although the facts are not yet certain, preliminary information suggests the person may have intentionally placed herself in the path of the oncoming train," Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said in a statement.

Transit police continue to investigate.

The train, #804, was carrying 238 passengers and stopped at Oak Grove Avenue to transfer riders. No one else was hurt. Both tracks were reopened by 10:25 p.m., according to Ms. Dunn.

Sixteen people died on Caltrain tracks in 2011, the agency said. Ms. Ahluwalia was the first fatality of 2012.