Metrolink Train Strikes, Kills Woman : Fatality: Victim, who was holding a Bible, walks onto tracks in Sun Valley. Police believe that it was a suicide.


A Metrolink train Thursday struck and killed a woman who walked onto the tracks with a Bible in what police said appeared to be a suicide.

About half the 18 pedestrians killed by Metrolink trains since service began in October, 1992, have been classified as suicides.

Witnesses said the woman, believed to be a transient in her mid-30s, was sitting on a rock alongside the tracks near San Fernando Road and Sheldon Street, reading a Bible, when the No. 216 train approached about 2:50 p.m., bound from Santa Clarita to downtown Los Angeles, police said.

“From the best we can make out, the engineer sounded his horn several times,” Los Angeles Police Sgt. Monte Houze said. “She decided to cross the tracks as the train was going by.”


Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Marko said the train, traveling about 80 m.p.h., carried the woman’s body more than 100 yards, depositing it alongside the tracks before coming to a stop about three-quarters of a mile from the point of impact.

The train, which was due in Los Angeles at 3:16 p.m., was delayed about two hours. None of the 25 passengers were injured, Houze said.

Hours after the incident, pages of the Bible the woman carried fluttered about the track and the white sheets covering the body.

Since the beginning of the year, five people have been killed by Metrolink trains, about half of them suicides, said Bill Currier, Metrolink’s director of operations.


“People have all kinds of reasons, I suppose,” Currier said.

In a separate incident Thursday, a homeless man sleeping by the side of tracks near the Santa Susana Pass tunnel was hit by a freight train, which severed his foot. Kevin Asunction was able to crawl to a nearby building and was taken to Simi Valley Hospital, where he was in stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Times staff writer Mack Reed contributed to this story.