SMART conductor honked horn multiple times before train struck, killed man

A SMART conductor honked the horn multiple times Tuesday evening before the train struck and killed a man walking on the tracks in southwest Santa Rosa, authorities said.

The man, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene from the 6:06 p.m. incident near West Robles Avenue, said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Sgt. Juan Valencia.

The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incident, and it has not ruled the manner of death, though three witnesses confirmed that the conductor had honked the train’s horn to warn the man who did not leave the tracks, Valencia said.

Passengers of the northbound train were taken off the train and transported by bus to the subsequent stations. The last northbound train for Tuesday was delayed by 30 minutes as a result of the crash, said Matt Stevens, spokesman for Sonoma-​Marin Area Rail Transit.

Since SMART started service in August 2017, 15 people have died from being struck by its trains. In the 14 previous deaths, eight were determined to be suicides and six were deemed accidental. Four other people have been hit by its trains but survived.

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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