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Man dies on railroad tracks

By Devona Walker Daily Planet Staff
Tuesday May 21, 2002


The body of a middle-aged Taiwanese national was found on the Union Pacific train tracks at Hearst Avenue early Monday morning. 

It is believed that the man tied himself to the train tracks, distraught after quarreling with family members. One of the family members was his son, who is a student attending UC Berkeley, and who resides at the University Village apartments. 

“In an apparent suicide, he tied himself to the Union Pacific train tracks early yesterday morning,” said Union Pacific Railroad spokesperson Mike Furtney. 


The man, whose name has not yet been released by officials, was hit by the train at approximately 5:27 a.m. 

Earlier in the morning, at approximately 2 a.m., there had been a call of a domestic violence incident at the University Village. It later became apparent to the officers that the party involved in the domestic call was the person discovered dead on the train tracks. 

“Apparently this individual laid down on the tracks,” Furtney said. “ As the crew saw him, he lifted up once then just laid back down.” 

Furtney said it takes approximately a mile and a half for a freight train to be stopped in the case of an emergency and that by the time the victim was sighted on the tracks it was too late. 

His identity was later verified by a passport found near the train tracks. 

The adult male victim is described to be at least 50 years of age. 

According to UC police reports, the suspect was intoxicated and upset after having fought his wife and daughter earlier in the evening. He did not leave a note but authorities are viewing the accident as an apparent suicide.  

“After a dispute with a family member, he apparently committed suicide on the train tracks,” Furtney said.