Woman killed while walking on tracks

Another train's warning does not give the Amtrak crew enough time to stop
(December 4, 1999)

By Yvonne Condes of the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

CROCKETT -- An Amtrak Capitol Corridor train bound for San Jose from Sacramento struck and killed a 27-year-old Martinez woman Sunday.

The woman was walking with a man on the railroad tracks about 2:15 p.m. near Crockett, said Mike Furtney, a Union Pacific Railroad spokesman.

When the pair were near Winslow Street and Carquinez Scenic Drive, they were spotted by the crew of an eastbound freight train, Furtney said.

The crew radioed ahead to an Amtrak train, which was on a different set of tracks moving westbound toward the couple.

The man got out of the way and yelled at the woman to get off the tracks, Furtney said. The Amtrak train applied its brakes, but it was too late, Furtney said.

"It was a matter of seconds before the Amtrak train got around the curve and couldn't stop," Furtney said.

The woman died at the scene. Her name was not released Sunday pending notification of relatives, said Contra Costa County Deputy Coroner Dave Fitzhugh. The man, who was not injured, also was not identified by authorities.

The train, with about 80 people on board, was going 38 mph, Furtney said.

No one on the train was injured, said Amtrak spokesman Ivan Rushing, but crew members were very shaken up and relieved of duty for the remainder of the day. After the accident, train passengers were bused to Oakland and then on to San Jose.

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Distributed by the Contra Costa Times

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