Train kills pedestrian; car kills bicyclist in unrelated incidents

A Caltrain crosses Charleston Road in Palo Alto. Post file photo.

Caltrain reports that one of its trains hit and killed a person on the tracks this morning, and last night a car hit and killed a bicyclist on El Camino Real.

As of noon, Palo Alto police report that the Meadow Drive crossing is closed as authorities investigate the train death.

Also under investigation is the death of a woman at around 9 p.m. at Embarcadero and Newell Road.

After receiving a 911 call, police and firefighters found a woman in her 20s unconscious in the roadway. Despite life-saving efforts, Fire Department personnel pronounced the woman dead at the scene.

Police said a preliminary investigation revealed that the woman had been stopped astride her bicycle in the number one lane of eastbound Embarcadero Road at the crosswalk at Newell Road. Police believe it is possible she may have been waiting for a green arrow to turn left onto northbound Newell Road. The cyclist was struck from behind by a blue 2023 Honda Accord traveling eastbound in the number one lane of Embarcadero Road on a green signal. It was lightly raining at the time of the collision.

The force of the initial collision knocked the cyclist into the intersection, where, according to witnesses, she was then struck by two additional eastbound vehicles. Neither of those vehicles stopped and continued traveling eastbound. Detectives have identified four vehicles that were eastbound at the same time and are actively conducting follow-up investigation on those vehicles and their drivers to see which two struck the woman.

The driver of the Accord, an adult male in his teens, remained at the scene and cooperated with police. The Accord was equipped with a dash-cam that captured the initial collision in its entirety. Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be factor in the initial collision.

Police are asking that anyone who may have witnessed the collision to call them at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.


  1. Why would she be in the street in the dark while it’s raining? It’s an accident waiting to happen, so tragic because she died and now three drivers have that on their heads too. These bikers in Palo Alto are so stubborn; the cars always win.

    • Re being on a dark street in the rain, we need to be cognizant that not everyone can afford a car. Not everyone can get a driver’s license. And some people have disabilities/impairments that prevent them from driving a car. A family member of mine in Palo Alto commutes to work via bicycle; transportation via car is a privilege.

    • What a disgusting reaction. I don’t have a car. Nice to know that if I was killed by a car drivers negligence, you would blame me.

      Drivers are supposed to slow down in the rain. They are supposed to take their foot off the gas when approaching an intersection.

      This is totally the fault of the driver.

      • Get real….bike riders should stay out of the roadway NO matter what the law states. Why put yourself at danger to begin with and why put the burden of blame on others for not being smart enough to have common sense.

    • I have a flashing red light on the rear of my bike. I am more visible than a car. Also a flashing light on the front. They make reflective surfaces like road markings and stop signs also flash. Bikes also have reflectors. Maybe you think people should not be walking around either.

    • While that is true, cyclists have a right to use the road in the dark, in the rain and drivers need to look where they are going. Drivers must not assume that no one is cycling in the dark or the rain. In other places it is perfectly normal to cycle in the dark rain – think Pacific Northwest. What cyclists should do is have the strong lights to try and help drivers see them. The dash cam footage will show if the cyclist had any lights or not. Riding without good lights is an accident waiting to happen. Assuming that no cyclists will be on the road is vehicular manslaughter waiting to happen.

      • Bike lights don’t save lives, common sense saves lives. Rain and night time are a bad combination. There is glare on the streets, on the car windshield, etc. Who expects that anyone would be riding their bike on Embarcadero Rd. in the night during the rain? Sure, bicyclists have the right to use the roads but pedestrians also have the right to step into a crosswalk with oncoming cars and expect them to come to a screeching halt because they are in the crosswalk. Try it sometime.

    • It is not cold blooded to state your opinion. In this case this young lady could have prevented this accident. Who in their right mind thinks that the drivers of cars and trucks are ALWAYS going to see a smaller bike rider. SMH on the stupidity of the humans who made this okay to do in the first place. Bikes belong in the bike lanes and in the cross walks, not in the car lanes. Period!

      • I completely agree. I just saw a bicyclist riding super fast in the dark on Embarcadero Road at 6:30pm so it was still rush hour, lots of cars. He had one red, flashing light on his back which is not enough to save his life. Not only, any car could come out of a side street and not see him because he was riding so fast. My common sense would tell me to ride on the sidewalk during rush hour in the dark on Embarcadero Road.

    • This is blatant victim blaming. Its just a different version of “but look what she was wearing.” Its also very privileged to think everyone should have access and the means to have a car. Why she was on a bike is her business – and it most definitely is not an excuse for manslaughter.

      • Manslaughter?! He did not see her due to the glare and darkness. Because of the poor judgement of the bicyclist, she has negatively affected the mental health of the teenage boy and the other two drivers who hit her for the rest of their lives. The bicyclist was in her 20s, not a teenager who is immature and doesn’t know better. It’s a tragic accident all-around but could have easily been avoided if she had been waiting at the corner where the sidewalk was like most people would do.

  2. This is a ghoulish comment blaming the victim – some people have to bike in the dark and in the rain. Some people don’t have cars. Some people have to work late at night. It’s frightening how little humanity there is to point fingers after such a tragedy. Do better.

  3. Sad, frightening and horrible. I am so sorry for her friends and family.
    Did she have a good front and back light on her bicycle?
    That 2 drivers just kept going is awful.
    What is becoming of us?

  4. Gurrrl you are cold blooded Somebody’s child,sister,friend was killed and you’re on here blaming Yes we know the
    circumstances but stop it shameful Praying for her family

  5. When I took Driver’s Ed, the instructor said I had to be very careful when in the vicinity of bicyclists. That’s because the police would charge you if the biker had any sort of accident, even if you didn’t touch them. They’re above the law. That’s why they don’t stop at red lights or stop signs.

  6. Every time I read about a young person committing suicide post-2020, I think to myself: I wonder if that person would have committed suicide if we had not locked down and shutdown the economy, forced masking, closed schools, parks and churches, and banned sports and other activities – the main avenues of social congregation, and made life living hell for the young and more vulnerable in society.

    • Really? These are first world problem pity parties. “I couldn’t see my friends, whaaaa.” You don’t see people with real problems around the world killing themselves. God we’re soft and stupid.

  7. Every time I read a bicyclist is killed by a car it breaks my heart. Although it is legal for the cyclists to ride on the roads, it is not wise. I am not against cycling. I have a bicycle but I only ride recreationally and only on trails and roads that are closed to all motor vehicles( such as Canada Road on Sundays) Yes, I understand the bicycle can be the only mode of transportation for some people. But let’s think about the physics and the natural laws. The smallest vehicles on the road weigh at least 1900 pounds (for example A Geo Metro ) a Ford F350 can weigh up to 8000 pounds. The average bicycle weighs between 15 to 35 pounds. There is no contest when a 1900 pound vehicle made of steel even traveling at a speed of 35 mph hits a 30 pound object. The 1900 pound vehicle has so much energy it will catapult the bicycle and the rider and will crush them. Don’t even think about the 8000 pound truck traveling at 50 mph or faster. Every single bicyclist who has been in a crash can tell you regardless of how many red and white LED lights with projecting lines mounted on your body or bike and around you, and regardless of how much so called bike lanes with green pavement and white plastic barriers along them, once you make contact with a 1900 pound object traveling at 35 mph or faster you will get hurt or would not survive to tell the story. I know bike supporters would try to blame bad driving. In many cases they are correct, but you can never guarantee all vehicle’s drivers would be sober, attentive, off of their phones and car stereos and have 20/20 vision at all times. For those reasons I consider being on a bicycle on the same road that a 8000 pound truck can drive on it, nothing but attempted suicide by the bicyclist.

  8. Rinding your bicycle at night in the rain is just a Darwin Award candidate. I understand that they have every right to. But when oh the road you can either be right or you can wake up tomorrow. The Universe doesn’t care.

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