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OCSD: Initial witnesses say person committed suicide by stepping in front of train

Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies and Amtrak officials discuss the situation in which an apparent suicide took place about 1:30 p.m. Saturday near San Clemente Pier. Photo: Eric Heinz
Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Amtrak officials discuss the situation in which an apparent suicide took place about 1:30 p.m. Saturday near San Clemente Pier. Photo: Eric Heinz

Editor’s Note: This is a developing story. San Clemente Times will provide more information as it becomes available. 

By Eric Heinz

Orange County Sheriff’s Department reported at 1:27 p.m. Saturday, July 18 that a person had died after being hit by an Amtrak train near the 600 Block of Avenida Victoria, near the San Clemente Pier.

Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies and Amtrak officials discuss the situation in which an apparent suicide took place about 1:30 p.m. Saturday near San Clemente Pier. Photo: Eric Heinz
Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Amtrak officials discuss the situation in which an apparent suicide took place about 1:30 p.m. Saturday near San Clemente Pier. Photo: Eric Heinz

OCSD reported that initial witnesses had indicated the incident was a suicide. Lt. Jeff Hallock, OCSD public information officer, said he could not yet confirm if it was a man or a woman and could not yet identify the person until the coroner’s report has been filed and the next of kin has been notified.

A few people who were on scene near the train tracks told San Clemente Times they had heard from eye-witnesses that the person “stuck out their hand and then stepped in front of the oncoming train,” and police were still conducting their investigation as of 3:30 p.m.

The unidentified person’s body lay covered under a yellow tarp as investigators and onlookers were present.

Dozens of people stood near the tracks where a person was killed in an apartment suicide Saturday, July 18 near San Clemente Pier. Photo: Eric Heinz
Dozens of people stood near the tracks where a person was killed in an apparent suicide Saturday, July 18 near San Clemente Pier. Photo: Eric Heinz

The incident, which took place near San Clemente’s annual Ocean Festival activities, was reported to have occurred less than an hour after events were suspended due to lightning in the area.

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comments (7)

  • A very sad day for the person killed, this family and friends and for all who witnessed this and ver affected by it.

    Just as an FYI, in the crowd picture. There is man standing under an umbrella giving the middle finger.

  • Dear Lindsey,

    First, I want to thank you for your post and your uncensored comments regarding Jacob’s suicide. This event must have definitely hit a nerve somewhere for you. Guess what? It hit a nerve for me as well! The nerve it hit for me was the memory of the day I learned that my husband ran in front of the Metrolink train traveling northbound through Dana Point on October 10, 2012. That nerve will will never stop firing, but, I want to share with you something that I have learned since then.

    Like you, I was angry at Bill for choosing such a violent way to take his life. It was so personally directed at me and so seemingly irresposible. However, Lindsey, as Bill ran up those tracks (just as dear Jacob this past Saturday) he was not in the mindset of you or I or any other trully sane person. Our loved ones were mentally ill and incapable of the kind of rationale needed to answer any of the questions you raised in your post above.

    Suicide is such a misunderstood act; a by-product of severe mental illness. Those who complete suicide are victims and their families are left with blame, shame, and countless fingers pointing at them with questions of “how could they do that?” Just as people are compassionate with other types of mental illnesses, people who deal with thoughts of suicide (and especially the families of those who ultimately carry it out) need compassion, loving arms, and a place to go where people accept them and offer them real opportunity for help. Bill was taken to the emergency room several times prior to his suicide, but because on the morning when the doctors visited him he could verballly communicate that he no longer wanted to kill himself, he was allowed to return home. The results of the lack of intervention and medical attention linger years after Bill’s death. They will linger forever.

    For you Lindsey, or for anyone who wants more information about this tragic illness or who needs help, please feel free to reach out to me. I am Kristi Hugstad and my husband was a suicide by train victim….not a suicide by choice. I am a certified grief counselor and can be reached at (949) 412-3238.

    • Thank you for this message. I too knew Jacob and he was one of the sweetest most caring individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Yes, he struggled with mental health issues and unless anyone has experienced this struggle and pain themselves they can not judge someone. May you rest in peace Jacob and watch over your family and friends.

  • I’m sorry for your lost Carlo I met his mom at a show in El Paso Texas. My prayers go out to his mom an dad and family members. Nobody should judge anyone with out knowing the person. I understand your rage against that dum lady.

  • Thank you Kristi Hugstad for your brave and understanding post. Your reply should be published. I don’t know anyone who has never been to this dark, dark place in their lives. Not everyone takes this path, but some do. There are no words for the suffering of the individual that chooses this way out. The families and friends of everyone who is touched by this tragedy deserve our love and support. Judgements and irreverent comments are not only inappropriate but less than human.

  • Compassion is always the best approach Krista and I appreciate your insight. Thank you.

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