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Ventura County Focus | OXNARD

Woman Hit by Train Called Suicide Victim

June 13, 1998|RICHARD WARCHOL

A Point Mugu woman committed suicide on a busy city street corner during the morning commute Friday, pointing a camera at an Amtrak train before allowing it to hit her, authorities said.

Authorities said Flori Herme, 37, a mother of three who lived on the Point Mugu naval base with her family, had a history of depression.

A suicide note to her husband, Jim, was discovered in the family's vehicle across the street in a convenience store parking lot.

Jim Wingate, chief investigator for the Ventura County medical examiner's office, said witnesses saw the woman apparently snap a photograph of the train before it hit.

The camera, however, had no film, Wingate said. Herme is the fourth Ventura County resident to die in a rail-related fatality this year.

Of the four deaths, only one was ruled accidental--a 52-year-old Ventura man killed by an Amtrak train last month while trying to save his dog.

An Amtrak spokesman said Friday's train had just left Oxnard for Los Angeles.

The train was delayed for 80 minutes before continuing on to its destination, Amtrak spokesman Dominick Albano said.

It was not immediately clear how many passengers were aboard the train or how fast the train was traveling when Herme was hit.

Rail traffic at that intersection is authorized to travel as fast as 70 mph, Albano said.

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