PLEASANTON — An Amador Valley High School freshman was struck and killed by a train Friday in an apparent suicide, police said.
At 2:32 p.m., police responded to calls that a person was struck by a Union Pacific freight train at the Santa Rita Road railroad crossing.
Witnesses said they saw the student run into the path of the train, Pleasanton police Lt. Mike Elerick said.
The train was running southbound from Roseville to San Jose and is just one of many Union Pacific trains traveling through the area each day, Union Pacific spokesman Aaron Hunt said.
The Pleasanton school district will make counselors available to students from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today in the Amador High school library, district spokeswoman Myla Grasso said. Counselors also will be available Tuesday, when students return to class.
Personnel from the Pleasanton Police Department and the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department responded to the scene. The stopped train blocked Santa Rita Road traffic downtown for several hours.
California had 60 train-pedestrian fatalities and 48 injuries in 2008, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
In the first 11 months of 2009, 56 California pedestrians were killed by trains.
In an effort to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver, California's transportation agencies and freight railroad companies launched the Common Sense rail safety campaign Feb. 11.
The campaign is aimed at adults 18 to 34, who make up a third of the railroad-related pedestrian deaths, to raise awareness that walking or playing around tracks is dangerous and illegal. For information, visit CommonSenseUseIt.com.
Staff writer Jeanine Benca contributed to this story.