Person Struck, Killed By Train In Martinez

June 15, 2019 21:59 pm · 27 comments

One person was killed this evening after being struck by a freight train in Martinez, authorities confirmed.

The incident occurred at about 6:20 p.m. on BNSF Railway tracks, company spokeswoman Lena Kent said. “It did not occur at a railroad crossing,” she said.

Kent said all train traffic on this route, between Stockton and
Richmond, was stopped as investigators converged on the scene. No passenger trains use this route.

Kent did not immediately have any information on the person killed. Martinez police referred all questions on the incident to BNSF.

In March 2014, a 14-year-old girl, Jenna Betti, was killed by a train near where the BNSF tracks cross Old Orchard Road in Martinez.

A memorial near that spot continues to be maintained to this day.

Bob Foo June 15, 2019 at 10:32 PM

As a railroad/transit worker, this hurts so bad.

Most deaths by train are suicide. Not saying that was the case here, but statistics show that it just might be.

In my industry, I have seen far too many train suicides. We call them “meatballs” because someone who is run over by a train is so disfigured that they are barely recognizable. It is definitely insensitive but at some point, the railroad workers have to do something to put a wall between them and the casualty.

My sincere condolences to the victim and their family. Whether it was suicide or just a tragic accident, it’s heartbreaking.

S June 15, 2019 at 11:14 PM

Well, yeah… getting smacked by a train usually does hurt…

Susan I. June 16, 2019 at 12:59 PM

I often worry about operators & first responders in these situations. Prayers to the family & those involved.

Lo June 17, 2019 at 11:07 AM

My uncle retired after 50 years with BNSF, he never took vacations. But when he did, it was usually a few weeks off after witnessing one of these incidents. He admits to still having nightmares of the first one. 🙁 I just can’t imagine that moment when you know you are “in charge” of an unstoppable piece of machinery that is about to take a life/lives. My heart is with the operators.

Local business owner June 16, 2019 at 12:32 AM

It’s unfortunate, but at this location there are SEVERAL homeless encampments ….it sucks that someone takes their life and meases with the mental health of the operators

So Sorry June 16, 2019 at 12:59 AM

I know the Betti family and I’m sure this news will trigger painful memories for them.

I hope officials are not withholding the identity because it was a minor.

My condolences to the family and my sympathy to the engineer who was surely traumatized by the incident.

Coggins Square June 16, 2019 at 8:24 AM

So true. I am sure that this tragedy will cause terrible infections to the Betti family’s wounds.

And just like with the Betti family’s tragedy, I extend my condolences to the trainmen of this train. Tragedies like this are the main reason why I could never be a trainman.

Duck June 16, 2019 at 1:38 AM

I’m sorry but you don’t just accidentally get run over by a train.
Trains aren’t really that quiet and walking on train tracks isn’t really that smart.
Play stupid games win stupid prizes.
The only way this was an accident is if this person was deaf dumb and blind.

Oh Dear June 16, 2019 at 6:09 AM

Dear Duck…
You might want to think about taking a course on empathy/sympathy!!! And please don’t continue to dump on the Deaf. They are NOT dumb!! Some speak and others only sign, but they communicate. And blind have ways of moving around that will keep them safe!

Michael June 16, 2019 at 8:07 AM

My neighbor was killed by a train because he was impaired by alcohol. Another commenter mentioned a homeless encampment so don’t be surprised if alcohol and/or drugs were a contributor. Condolences to the family.

Darla Meury June 16, 2019 at 8:08 AM

Wow Duck, seriously? That’s extremely rude! My Uncle, whom was TOTALLY DEAF, was hit and killed by a Sante Fe freight train! He was not DUMB, NOR BLIND! WOW!

Skypilot 14 June 16, 2019 at 11:27 AM

Trains are actually very quiet if they are approaching from behind you. Until the start sounding the whistle they are very hard to detect. Secondly they appear to be moving much slower then they truly are

Mary Fouts June 16, 2019 at 2:27 PM

I concur with @Skypilot 14. A late friend of my husband worked in railroad yards as a young man, around 1950. He (Joe) said you always had to be very, very aware of your surroundings in the yard. At times a boxcar would come uncoupled and would travel by itself down the tracks. Joe said the car moved whisper quiet, and at a much faster speed than it appeared from a visual perspective.

grandmato3 June 16, 2019 at 4:24 PM

Wow Duck how very uncompassionate of you. To say what you did is wrong on every level, take a deep breath and try to use your words carefully. No matter how this young person died, it’s a tragedy not playing a stupid game. My sincere condolences to the family and friends of this person.

Sad June 16, 2019 at 2:16 AM

Sad that people die this way.

Silva June 16, 2019 at 6:32 AM

I am one who has never understood how someone can accidentally be hit by a train. So sad for all involved.

Ricardoh June 16, 2019 at 8:45 AM

Millions of ways to meet your demise and this seems to be the easiest to avoid.

Anon June 16, 2019 at 10:26 AM

I saw the rear of the train as it came to an abrupt stop near United Rentals, I drove up Howe rd to see what was going on, this is when I heard sirens.
I walked on the Westaire? HOA walking trail and there were a few neighbors already there. The Police and Fire were arriving. We didn’t get in the way of the First responders as there’s a fence separating the trail and the Railroad tracks.
I chose not to go in for a better look and just took the word of one of the onlookers, he said that he heard the train blowing the horn and then heard the brakes squealing. Supposedly, the deceased was a young female.

I feel bad for the train crew, police and fire who have to witness this.

Davison June 16, 2019 at 10:57 AM

Heard the train come to a long stop screeching stop yesterday and saw the convergence of patrol vehicles at the scene. As another previous poster noted there are a number of homeless encampments in the nearby area. Sad all around.

WC Resident June 16, 2019 at 8:50 PM

@Duck and @Silva – accidental hits by a train are common. For example, think about the two BART workers that were killed on the tracks between the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill stations. They were very experienced rail workers did not notice the oncoming train until a fraction of a second before they were hit.

In many cases where someone is hit by accident there two trains. Someone’s attention is on one train and they don’t see or hear the one coming in the opposite direction.

As they move so quietly relative to their size, people often misjudge how quickly a train will arrive. They see the train in the distance, figure they have enough time to clear the tracks, and boom.

S June 17, 2019 at 6:50 AM

according to various websites… In the U.S. people are hit by trains at a rate of about 1 person every 2 hours.

anon June 17, 2019 at 7:49 AM

One of them was the track inspector & the other was the “watch for the train” man—totally a situation that was avoidable… one got the other killed & himself. They were classed as experts…you draw your own conclusion.

Silva June 17, 2019 at 3:57 PM

Thanks WC Resident.

Katherine Evans June 16, 2019 at 10:23 PM

Grew up with a train behind my backyard my dad would take us up there to walk our dogs. He also taught us a lot about train safety. Like if you are not on the tracks but standing too close it will suck you towards it. Also from behind you can’t really hear the train coming we had safety lights that flashed and dinged also that’s why the train blows it whistle so much. You never ever turn your back to the train always be aware of what is going on around you. Always stop and get back as far as you can when the trains going by.

Kirkwood June 17, 2019 at 11:48 AM

Situational awareness is everything.
If you are crossing tracks, notice if the rails are shiny or rusty. If they are shiny you know that a train could pass by at any time. Rusty tracks not so much but it still has to cross your mind.

S June 17, 2019 at 1:00 PM

other media broadcast: Lilian Alum of Martinez. no further info was offered.

Chevygurl June 17, 2019 at 3:27 PM

I know this family-wonderful, wonderful people. Please keep your negative comments to yourself. You weren’t there-you don’t know. I just know that an AMAZING family has lot a beautiful soul. DO NOT MAKE ANY ASSUMPTIONS. As grandma always said, “there but for the grace of God go I.” So many hugs to my dear friend and her family. Godspeed Liliana.

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