SLO police reported that a 22 year-old-man was killed after being stuck by a train Feb. 16, bringing the total number of such deaths in or around the city to three in the first two months of 2016.
According to police, the most recent incident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. near the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and California Boulevard. After responding to reports that the victim, later identified as Cal Poly student Thomas Tilton Stone, had been stuck by a train and was unresponsive. First responders attempted life-saving measures at the scene before the Stone was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died.
According to a statement from the SLO Police Department, investigators didn’t believe that the Stone's death was intentional, but the result of a “tragic accident.” SLOPD Lt. John Bledsoe told New Times that the Stone was not trespassing at the time of the accident and that the accident occurred while the arms of the rail crossing were down and the train was using its horn.
“He apparently didn’t hear the train,” Beldsoe said.
Witnesses at the scene reported that Stone was wearing eabuds and looking at his phone at the time of the accident, according to police.
On Jan. 4, 54-year-old transient Saralee Lua was struck by an Amtrack train while she was lying between two sets of tracks near Industrial Way. According to a press release from the SLO County Sheriffs Office, Lua’s death was believed to be accidental.
The second death occurred Jan. 9, when Cal Poly student Aaron Matthew Wolf was stuck and killed by an Amtrak train carrying passengers in a rural area south of the city. Wolf’s death was later ruled a suicide.