News

Atherton: Man killed by train at Watkins Avenue crossing

Update: Coroner's office identifies Menlo Park man struck by train in Atherton.

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A man was struck and killed by a southbound train at the Watkins Avenue Caltrain crossing in Atherton at approximately 10 a.m. Monday, June 5, according to Caltrain spokesperson Tasha Bartholomew.

Caltrain had earlier reported the incident occurred at the Encinal Avenue crossing in Menlo Park.

"Early reports indicate this was an intentional act," Ms. Bartholomew said in a statement. He was trespassing at the crossing and was in the train's right-of-way, she said.

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Emergency personnel were on the scene and trains were stopped in both directions, Ms. Bartholomew said in an alert at 10:19 a.m.

There were no injuries reported among about 340 people on the train, she said.

Delay update

As of a 10:32 a.m. update, transit police had released the northbound tracks at speed restrictions of 20 miles per hour.

Go to Caltrain's Twitter account @Caltrain for updates.

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When a Caltrain fatality occurs, railroad, police, fire, emergency medical services personnel and the coroner's office respond to the scene, according to the Caltrain website.

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Atherton: Man killed by train at Watkins Avenue crossing

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Mon, Jun 5, 2017, 10:55 am
Updated: Mon, Jun 5, 2017, 11:10 am

Update: Coroner's office identifies Menlo Park man struck by train in Atherton.

===========

A man was struck and killed by a southbound train at the Watkins Avenue Caltrain crossing in Atherton at approximately 10 a.m. Monday, June 5, according to Caltrain spokesperson Tasha Bartholomew.

Caltrain had earlier reported the incident occurred at the Encinal Avenue crossing in Menlo Park.

"Early reports indicate this was an intentional act," Ms. Bartholomew said in a statement. He was trespassing at the crossing and was in the train's right-of-way, she said.

Emergency personnel were on the scene and trains were stopped in both directions, Ms. Bartholomew said in an alert at 10:19 a.m.

There were no injuries reported among about 340 people on the train, she said.

Delay update

As of a 10:32 a.m. update, transit police had released the northbound tracks at speed restrictions of 20 miles per hour.

Go to Caltrain's Twitter account @Caltrain for updates.

When a Caltrain fatality occurs, railroad, police, fire, emergency medical services personnel and the coroner's office respond to the scene, according to the Caltrain website.

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Comments

Clunge
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:55 am
Clunge, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:55 am

thoughts and prayers to the family of this person.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:58 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:58 am

Thoughts and prayers to the train engineer and the emergency responders.


Lauren
Atherton: other
on Jun 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm
Lauren , Atherton: other
on Jun 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm

So sad!! I literally had just walked past him and was wondering why he was acting strange. The next minute I heard the train break really fast and knew something was wrong. I wish he could have got some help.


Anneke
another community
on Jun 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm
Anneke, another community
on Jun 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm

How enormously sad for the person himself, as he must have suffered so much in order to make this final decision. How sad for his family and friends, and how sad for the train engineer who should not have to be involved with such a tragic action.

May he rest in peace.

Anneke


Katie
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2017 at 6:34 pm
Katie, Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2017 at 6:34 pm

How horribly sad for everyone involved: his family, friends and colleagues as well as the people who witnessed and responded to this tragic situation.

Lauren, your comment reminded me of an interaction I had several years ago:
I saw a man wandering around close to the tracks in the woods on Alma (before the high fence was installed). It seemed like an odd place to be walking, so high on the embankment, so I stopped and asked if everything was okay. He said "why?" and I replied that, well, he was kind of close to the tracks and recent suicides were on my mind.

He thanked me for asking and told me he was fine. He probably was. Many would have found my question overly invasive/offensive. It probably was. But I replay this in my mind and think that I'd probably do it again (on balance offending someone seems less bad than ignoring a gut instinct and being proven horribly right).

I wonder if there is any consensus in the mental health industry about ways a stranger might intervene in such a situation?

Also, this: despite living in a "small town" I think it's easy to walk around without really seeing each other (especially given the ubiquitous phones). Making eye contact with and/or greeting a stranger feels awkward, especially if one didn't grow up in a culture where these things were normative. And yet there are so many among us who are suffering or fighting painful hidden battles–people who could use a smile, a friendly gesture, or a bit of encouragement. In this man's name, I pledge to try to see and acknowledge my fellow humans more often.


pogo
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Jun 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm
pogo, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm

"Also, this: despite living in a "small town" I think it's easy to walk around without really seeing each other (especially given the ubiquitous phones). Making eye contact with and/or greeting a stranger feels awkward, especially if one didn't grow up in a culture where these things were normative. And yet there are so many among us who are suffering or fighting painful hidden battles–people who could use a smile, a friendly gesture, or a bit of encouragement. In this man's name, I pledge to try to see and acknowledge my fellow humans more often."

That's a really beautiful and worthwhile sentiment, Katie. I'm going to try as well.

To Mr. Carpenter's point, if instead of stepping in front of the speeding train, this person had stepped in front of your car as you drove down El Camino Real, I suspect you'd be traumatized for quite some time - perhaps forever. In that respect, his thoughts and prayers to the train engineer and first responders is completely appropriate. Most will relive this horror for some time to come.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2017 at 7:36 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jun 5, 2017 at 7:36 pm

A crying shame. When are we going to actually do something about housing and caring for the mentally ill as we used to? What we've been doing since Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan clearly isn't working.


gotifi
Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jun 5, 2017 at 8:37 pm
gotifi, Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jun 5, 2017 at 8:37 pm

I heard he is one of the top lawyer in bay area.


Train Neighbor
another community
on Jun 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm
Train Neighbor, another community
on Jun 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm

To Katie-

I went to a presentation where a young man spoke about surviving his jump off the GG Bridge. He said he was crying all the way to the bridge and he believed that if just ONE person stopped to ask him if he was OK that he likely would NOT have jumped.

I'd rather risk being intrusive if it could possible impact someone's decision to take their life.


Another train neighbor
Atherton: other
on Jun 6, 2017 at 12:01 am
Another train neighbor, Atherton: other
on Jun 6, 2017 at 12:01 am

I was there in my car when he ran in front of the train. I wish I could have talked to this man before he made this devastating decision but had no idea what I was about to witness. I am so sorry for him as well as his family. Please reach out to your friends, family and neighbors if they seem withdrawn or out of sorts. Life is hard and we need to help each other whenever possible!


Gee
another community
on Jun 6, 2017 at 6:51 am
Gee, another community
on Jun 6, 2017 at 6:51 am

To Lauren -

What made you feel that he was acting strange? What was he doing? Just asking so that if anybody sees something similar in future they might take some action immediately. I feel so sorry for his condition. Wonder what he must be thinking before taking such a painful step. Feel sorry for everyone who ever became a part of something so painful.

May he rest in peace. My prayers for his family.


Co-Worker of Deceased
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 6, 2017 at 10:17 am
Co-Worker of Deceased, Menlo Park: other
on Jun 6, 2017 at 10:17 am

To Lauren and "Another Train Neighbor" - can you please describe what happened? The person who did this is a co-worker at a law firm just blocks away, and we are wondering what happened in the last moments. What could co-workers have done to stop him? Such a tragedy!


Richard Hine
Registered user
editor of The Almanac
on Jun 6, 2017 at 10:57 am
Richard Hine, editor of The Almanac
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2017 at 10:57 am

The coroner's office has released the name of the man who was struck and killed by the train:
Web Link


HKSD
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm
HKSD, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm

The deceased was a great mentor and friend to me. Sadly I have not been in contact with him for a bit. I cannot make sense of this -- he was so full of life. I still cannot believe he would take his own life. I ditto the comment by "Co-Worker of Deceased" above -- please share info of his last moment if possible. Is it clear that it's not an accident?


Lauren
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Jun 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm
Lauren, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm

To Co-workers I'm very sorry for your lost, he really sounded like a nice man. To answer both your question and Gee, I'm a nanny and I take the baby down that path crossing the train tracks a few times a week. Yesterday when I was walking my regular route I saw Mr. Kapoor standing very close to the train tracks appearing to be on the phone, but I didn't hear him having a conversation with anyone. He was dressed very professional and to me it seemed a little off because I was thinking it's morning and most people are working and usually I see other nannies or joggers only. I literally just got this weird feeling in my stomach that something wasn't right. I usually say good morning when I walk next to people, but he seemed distant and tried not to make eye contact. He was also pacing back and fourth for awhile before I got up to the point where I was near him. I honestly feel so bad because maybe just saying hi even though he may have not wanted to hear it could of helped, but then people also keep telling me he could of been at a point where he just snapped and could of hurt someone else.


Lauren
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Jun 6, 2017 at 9:26 pm
Lauren, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Prayers to his family and co-workers, as well as, anyone else being involved.


Gee
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 7, 2017 at 1:38 am
Gee, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2017 at 1:38 am

To Lauren -

Dear Lauren,

Thank you for sharing details of Mr. Kapoor's last moments with us.

I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Please do not blame your self. I can imagine the conflict going on in your mind when you saw him like that near the train tracks. We all try not to be intrusive. After reading your narrative, I feel so many of us we will be more conscious of anything unusual that we see happening to a person.

May his soul be in peace, and may his family, friends and colleagues get all the strength to deal with this mishap.


Hmmm
Registered user
another community
on Jun 7, 2017 at 11:45 am
Hmmm, another community
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2017 at 11:45 am

I lost a beloved acquaintance on the Menlo tracks a few years ago. His family and community are forever changed. His suicide haunts many of us. Not long before that, I dropped everything to help a friend whom I suspected of formulating a suicide plan. I was right - they had a plan they were about to enact, and I was to play an unsuspecting part in it. Instead, I was able to intervene, consult with a physician friend by phone, get my friend to the hospitable, and from there to a mental hospital. This person got the help needed and is thriving. This is a successful person with money, loved ones, friends and admirers, who became exhausted as a result of a nasty confluence of events. One significant thing- their meds were no longer effective.

I learned a lot from that harrowing experience, and I can't express how it has impacted me. I am so sorry about this tragedy in Atherton, and that his plan wasn't foiled.


CoWorker
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 7, 2017 at 6:24 pm
CoWorker, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2017 at 6:24 pm

Lauren - I can't thank you enough for taking the time to reply. If anyone else has information I would be most grateful. Thank you again Lauren, and bless you for your kind heart and thoughtful words. You should certainly feel no guilt about this - it doesn't sound like there was any real indication. I hope you have nothing but peace. I hope that his wife (S.) learns of what happened. I may reach out to her, as I imagine she has some of the same questions, though I also imagine the police interviewed people that were at the scene as well. I suppose what actually happened will always remain a mystery. The truth is that Kirtee came in to the office that morning; I know because we have a system that all lawyers use for their whereabouts and his executive assistant marked him as in the office just over an hour before the incident.


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