As any local can tell you, trains are a popular form of transportation here in the Bay Area, meaning you’re never very far from a track here. This is generally a good thing and seen as a major benefit of living in or around San Diego. However, like with any form of transportation, they also come with a greater amount of risk. Unfortunately, one very common form of death that comes about due to trains is suicide.
Recently, it appears an Encinitas man elected to take his own life this way. It was around 1:48 am when the death was reported. The location was the tracks running by the 900 block of South Coast Highway, according to Deputy Anthony Radicia. These tracks are used for passenger and freight trains, which is why they were active at such an early hour.
Witnesses reported that they observed a man sitting on track number two’s west rail with his head in his hands looking toward the ground.
Despite using its horn and activating the emergency brakes, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train was unable to clear the man from the tracks. The horn did nothing to alter the man’s intentions and the brakes were not enough to bring the train to a complete halt before a collision occurred.
The 40-year-old man, who has not yet been named, was pronounced dead by medical responders at the scene. Authorities are still investigating the incident, but it appears as though it was definitely a suicide.
Every year, some 300 to 500 people choose to end their life by using trains, according to the US Federal Railroad Administration. Most of these actually happen in New York.
In such a tragic situation, those who remain behind—the family of the man and anyone who was working the train or tracks that day—should seek legal counsel. The family may have a case if their loved one was mentally disabled.