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Manteca Police suspect another suicide by train
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A young woman is believed to have committed suicide Thursday morning after stepping in front of train just outside of Downtown Manteca.

According to Manteca Police, the train conductor and engineer told investigators that the woman – believed to be a white or Hispanic female between the ages of 25 and 35 – walked onto the railroad tracks and turned her back to the oncoming locomotive before raising her arms in the air.

She disappeared beneath the train immediately thereafter and was discovered under the train approximately 200-feet from where the tracks crossed South Main Street. The woman, whose identity has not yet been determined by investigators, showed “obvious signs of death.”

A motive for what may have prompted her to step onto the railroad tracks is not yet known.

It was the first pedestrian fatality involving a train in Manteca in more than two years. As a result of what had become a recurring problem along the Downtown Manteca railroad tracks, the city worked with Union Pacific to install a high fence along the tracks as they run through downtown to keep pedestrians away from the railroad tracks.

The incident on Thursday occurred near where the tracks cross a major thoroughfare and where pedestrians can easily access the tracks.

Multiple railroad crossings in Manteca were blocked while the investigation and the removal of the body were underway – snarling traffic along Main Street and through the downtown area as traffic worked its way around the stopped train.

The investigation into the identity of the young woman has been turned over to the San Joaquin County Medical Examiner’s Office. A postmortem examination will also be handled by the agency.  

Prior to 2018, Manteca was averaging two pedestrian deaths involving trains every year. The majority of the train-versus-pedestrian deaths occurring since 2008 have been classified as suicides. One incident involved a person who was under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

Over the years Manteca Police officers have saved the lives of at least two people who were trying to walk into the path of oncoming trains.

Manteca Police Sgt. Lance Casqueiro in 2017 was credited with pulling a suicidal man off the tracks at the Yosemite Avenue crossing literally seconds before a train would have struck him. About 15 years earlier, Manteca Police were also credited with making a similar save.


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.