Caltrain Fatally Strikes Man in Wheelchair in San Mateo

The incident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday.


A Caltrain fatally struck a man in a wheelchair on the train tracks in San Mateo Thursday, altering north and southbound train service. 

Southbound Train 264, a limited-stop train, collided with the man on the tracks at Fifth Avenue in San Mateo at about 4:50 p.m. Emergency officials remained at the scene of the incident for at least an hour following the incident.

Train 264 left San Francisco at 4:19 p.m. and had stopped at the San Mateo station at 4:42 p.m. The next scheduled stop was Hillsdale at 4:47 p.m.

A preliminary investigation indicates the man, who was riding in an electric wheelchair, went around the lowered gates onto the train tracks.

At about 6:00 p.m. the train involved in the incident was moved north to the San Mateo station, where the passengers were able to get off the train. Delays lingered for hours after the incident.

This is the 10th fatality on the Caltrain of way this year. Last year there were 16. 

The cause of the fatality is under investigation.  The San Mateo County coroner will determine the cause of death.

Omar Chatty June 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM
What was the final outcome of this May 15, 2012 SSF jaywalking Caltrain ("Killtrain") incident? Did the man die? Did he become an amputee or get lifetime disabilities? Such accidents norh of BART Millbrae are so unnecessary because Caltrain is just a waste of scarce transit money that is duplicative of the more expansive, electrified, safer BART in the same 15 mile corridor. Officials and politicians just need to start a study of the final 28 mile BART gap from Millbrae down to Santa Clara where planning is underway to extend it. Caltrain can be replaced, station by station by BART over the next few years to both save our tax dollars while connecting the whole Bay Area with the "one seat" BART solution around the Bay. BART moves more people with a budget surplus, single administration and operations, cleaner, and quieter--and freeing up the track ROW for a 60 mile SJ-SF safe, interconnected pedestrian/bike trail adjacent to BART (and a single Freight track again)--while providing thousands of jobs for the next 10-15 years!. HSR can stop in SJ, if not stopped entirely.
Omar Chatty June 22, 2012 at 03:08 PM
For south of Millbrae, such as Burlingame, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, all of which have suffered fatal accidents in the past year (and before, of course: 186 dead since 1995, 26 dead since 1/1/12, and as Casandra reports, 10 this year already) extending BART to join the whole Bay Area is fundable ~$8Bil, half from the 4 "improvements" (only a "faster horse", per Jobs/Ford quotes) to Caltrain (SF Extension, Dumbarton Rail Bridge $ diversion to BART--return the SoBay/Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge to its pre-DR Bridge 1910 natural state, Electrification, Grade Crossings), and the other half from diverted HSR and other Calif bonds, 2006 1B, 2008 1A, Regional Measure 1. Recall that in the past few years, both San Mateo and Santa Clara voters have voted to tax themselves for better transit--including BART. The decades ago votes against BART are history only opponents choose to raise this non-issue. Lives and our quality of life are at stake. It is time to focus on THE Bay Area modern transit backbone, safe, clean, rail solution--and free-up/sell resources including the SOMA Caltrain station and ROW to better uses that fit SOMA's revitalization, from Warriors to Giants venues to offices (jobs), homes, and shopping (tax income). Omar Freemotorist.
Cheryl June 22, 2012 at 04:47 PM
@OmarChatty: After your brash insensitive comment "Did the man die? Did he become an amputee or get lifetime disabilities?" I didn't even bother reading the rest of your boring rambling comment(s).
BP June 23, 2012 at 08:28 AM
The trains black box has the train speed---brakes---horns---etc... recorded. Whoops our cops let that evidence go to be modified or lost by the railroad if need be. The trains video recorder has the real video recorded. Whoops our cops let that evidence go to be modified or lost by the railroad if need be. The crossing gates black box has it recorded if the gates came down 20 seconds before the train arrived as required (the junk train detection fails all the time) but whoops our cops let that evidence go to be modified or lost by the railroad if need be. SHOULD ALL KILLERS GET TO CONTROL EVIDENCE LIKE THE RAILROADS??? I guess real people don't have big enough bucks in high enough places to have illegal investigations.
Laura June 24, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Omar, u keep saying this everywhere. I was on the train when this man went UNDER the downed gate. How is this Catrains fault?! I will forever be scarred due to he got stuck under my window of the train and I saw what was left of him. This is not Caltrains fault. It's the person who decides to commit suicide.
Reality Check June 25, 2012 at 07:07 PM
BP, you are hilarious! I bet the "speeding" train "swerved" off the track while nobody was looking and ran over that poor suicidally-depressed guy. Amazing how those sneaky railroad engineers always manage to hit suicidal people and never the people like my uncle and my cousins and me -- who have taken the train our whole lives ... trespassed all around railroads all the time, etc. My father and uncle had summer jobs working on the railroad ... and used to hop freights across the Dumbarton rail bridge for kicks. The point is that it is very, very hard to get yourself hit by a train by accident. It takes some serious negligence or intent! I'm beginning to think Mr. Chatty either works for a BART contractor or is a self-interested property owner or tenant near the Caltrain tracks. Caltrain is standard inter-operable train technology whose infrastructure allows freight and/or high-speed rail, etc., and can be incrementally upgraded (electrified, fenced, grade-separated) as fast or as slow as money and politics allow to be far better and more flexible than captive/unique (and expensive) BART technology at a fraction of BART's cost.
BP June 25, 2012 at 09:15 PM
It amazes me a reporter doesn't verify their source."""A preliminary investigation indicates the man, who was riding in an electric wheelchair, went around the lowered gates onto the train tracks.""" Looking at this crossing on Google ---Let's see 1-2-3-4-5 seconds the gates come down stopping traffic on the busy street ----1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20 seconds later the train arrives leaving 50 witnesses stopped at the intersection---yet the railroads hired gun runs out and tells the cop what the railroad wants the people to read. Stacie Chan what do the other 50 witnesses say???
Reality Check June 26, 2012 at 05:42 PM
BP, unless the train derails, it can only hit objects that are on (or less than three feet away from) the rails. So clearly the guy was on the tracks. Unless the crossing gates were not working, the guy either had to bypass the activated (lowered, flashing lights, bells ringing) or had to have entered the crossing before they activated and moved or stayed on the track until the train reached the crossing and hit him. So BP, what's behind your conspiratorial tone? There is no mystery to how people get themselves hit by trains. It takes some doing ... and that's why it's really quite rare for someone to get hit truly by innocent mistake. With very rare exceptions, and by design, it takes active intent or overt legal or practical negligence for someone lawfully crossing tracks to get hit "by accident."
BP June 27, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Reality Check you obviously have never been on a jury when it is showed the different ways the railroads get away with murder. """Unless the crossing gates were not working""' Put yourself in a wheelchair when the gates are short timed which happens all the time or the gates pop up as one train passes through with the pother train just coming through. Pointspread Pauper http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/safety/grxing_summary.pdf page 11. Let's see. Like 80% of the passive collisions would be eliminated with lights and gates per our government. The other 20% ---failed signals---Railroad fault short timed signals ---railroad fault vehicles stalled---railroad fault (no video equipment} vehicles hung up on the humps---railroad fault the second train blocking the view of the moving train---railroad fault for not staggering trains icy unattended approaches-- railroad fault sun glare blocked out signals---railroad fault (signals and trains lighting sucks} failed vehicle brakes--- No fault either way driver medical problems --no fault either way--- driver accidentally hits accelerator---no fault either way etc. vehicle is rear ended and knocked onto crossing ---railroads fault (the approaches suck) FACTS a real Operation Lifesaver would be stating instead of downplaying gate importance. Civilians ran down like dogs ---Railroads fault . No lookouts ---video equipment
Reality Check June 27, 2012 at 04:34 PM
BP, it sounds like you've got some serious issues (and bad history?) with railroads. I hope you get some professional help with that and feel better soon. Best wishes!
Reality Check June 28, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Caltrain Engineer: Every Time I Go Past The Scene of a Fatality, It Plays Back Like a Video http://transportationnation.org/2012/06/27/caltrain-engineer-talks-about-coping-with-track-fatalities/


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