Train hits vehicle in Menlo Park; woman injured

The original article, based on information provided by Caltrain, reported that the daughter was driving the car that was struck. Caltrain officials have since said the mother was driving the car.

Train tracks reopened through the Menlo Park area less than an hour and a half after a train struck a vehicle, according to Caltrain officials.

Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunne said in a press release: "About 5:05 p.m. today a 1996 Saab traveling west on Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park failed to clear the crossing and was struck by southbound train #264.

"There were two people in the car, a mother and her adult daughter. The mother was driving the car.

"There were vehicles in front and behind the Saab and the driver did not allow enough space in front of her vehicle to clear the intersection.

"The rear of the car was struck by the train. The driver of the car suffered minor injuries and was transported to Stanford Hospital.

"The passenger also was taken to Stanford Hospital as a precaution."

There was no damage to the train and no injuries to anyone on board the train, Ms. Dunne reported. The train was able to resume service after the incident.

The crash initially closed the tracks in both directions and then forced them to travel on a single-track.

At about 6:20 p.m., trains were traveling at restricted speeds and commuters were told to expect continuing delays of 60 to 90 minutes.

There were about 200 people on the affected train.


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Posted by why?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 14, 2012 at 8:59 am

Why did they stop on the train tracks to begin with? Are the signals not visible enough? It wasn't raining or dark at 5pm.

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Posted by observor
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 14, 2012 at 11:02 am

Two mistakes in story:
1- Daughter was adolescent, not adult
2- Daughter was not driving car; mother was

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Posted by Colleen
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Apr 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Could you give us more details. Why were they on the tracks. Was the mother or child hurt? How old did the child look.

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Posted by Omar Chatty
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm

How many more innocent people must die on Caltrain tracks before this outdated, clearly dangerous, (noisy, pollution and congestion-causing) at-street level million-pound train is replaced with modern, regionally "one-seat" interconnected, neighborhood-sensitive clean (green) electric-powered rail?
Answer: 160 more will likely die during the 10 years it is likely to take to finally replace deadly Caltrain "Killtrain" with -- BART around the whole Bay. The groundbreaking for BART to come eventually to Santa Clara, leaves only 28 miles and about $8Billion (half from proposed, but wasteful, Caltrain upgrades) to finish BART around the whole Bay. Until then, the deaths, like today's in San Mateo, and accidents like last Friday's, again at overly congested Ravenswood, and last week's accident in Redwood City, will continue. This is especially so if arrogant Jerry Hill and other politicians who are Caltrain and HSR-at-any-cost- bigots remain in office with no vision for the future. Planning to replace Caltrain with the modern BART "Around the Bay" needs to start ASAP. The sooner planning-design-build (compatible with MP tunneling or other HSR MOU standards), plus, a joined with a 64-mile SJ-SF interconnecting bike/pedestrian trail and one freight track, will cause many fewer deaths--but only after Caltrain is replaced and MP returns to its natural, pleasant, quiet, safe community, where trains no longer endanger neighbors, friends, visitors, creating dangerous, noisy GHGs, or car, bike, pedestrian travel interruptions.

Until then, Menlo Park and other Caltrain communities like mine must ask our politicians "How many more people must die?" before they start to replace Caltrain, with BART around the whole Bay.

Steve Jobs used to quote Henry Ford: "If I asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse". Spending precious tax transportation dollars on "upgrading' Caltrain, or HSR, is only spending it on a "a faster horse", i.e., Simply "Perfuming a Pig..." that kills regularly...181 dead since 1995, 16 dead last year. 5 dead this year to date, 2 in Menlo Park (including 1 at Ravenswood already, and almost 2 more last Friday). I plan to attend Tuesday's Menlo Park City Council meeting, Oral Presentations, ~7:00pm, to ask the council the same question. If you have been touched, or can envision a safer, quieter future for Menlo Park, with BART, not the Caltrain "Killtrain", then please join me in this lifesaving request to the Council.I hope you and your Menlo Park friends care enough.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I was actually three cars in front of the Saab that was struck by the southbound train and saw everything happen from my side mirror. I was looking in my side mirror and noticed that when the train barriers came down, the last car (the Saab) was very close to the train tracks. There was plenty of room for the car to go over the median and get out of the way, which clearly shows that this person had no idea of how close they actually were. I also noticed that this woman did not seem to be in any rush or attempt to get people to move becuase she wasn't honking her horn or doing anything. I heard the train coming and couldnt keep my eyes off of my side mirror and saw the back of her car get struck. They were both very lucky to walk away with minor injuries and that there were many people that helped. Very scary that this happened. Ultimately, people need to pay closer attention to what's going on in front of them. If you notice the light in front of the train tracks is red, you probably shouldnt try and squeeze in behind the last car....for this very reason.

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