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Woman Lying on Tracks Is Killed by Train


TUSTIN — A woman apparently committed suicide Wednesday afternoon by lying in front of an Amtrak train headed for San Diego, police said.

It was the sixth suicide to occur on train tracks in Orange and San Diego counties in the last two months, Santa Fe Railway officials said.

The woman was hit at 4:05 p.m. on a Santa Fe railroad track near Red Hill Avenue, said Tustin Police Lt. Frank Semelsberger.

"As the train was traveling southbound and was approaching Red Hill Road, the engineer saw the woman standing on the tracks. He blew his whistle and attempted to bring the train to a stop," Semelsberger said. "When he wasn't able to, the train struck her. She apparently laid down across the tracks as the train got closer."

Semelsberger said the woman was in her mid-30s and is believed to be a resident of Santa Ana.

The train originated in Los Angeles. It was running a few minutes late and was due to arrive in San Juan Capistrano at 3:59 p.m. but was delayed by several minutes because of the death.

There were no injuries aboard the train, said Amtrak spokesman Clifford Black.

Santa Fe Railway spokesman Mike Martin said the "unseen victim" in such suicides is often the locomotive engineer.

"It does affect them," Martin said. "There have been cases where engineers have never been able to work again."

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