Trains Delayed, Cancelled After Woman Struck

One passenger says he was more than an hour late

One North County Transit District passenger says he was delayed by an hour and a half this morning in his train commute from Carlsbad to the Torrey Pines area, after a woman was struck by a train in the Del Mar area.

The train struck the woman early Thursday in Del Mar and some morning Coaster trains were canceled, the transit agency confirmed.

Kevin Anderson said train accidents happen often enough that the agency should have protocol in place when the occur. Anderson is a medical professional at a busy hospital and says he needs to be at work on time.

"If it happened between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., that's enough time to get adequate buses by 8 a.m.," he said. "Why doesn't NCTD have a protocol in place for this situation?"

A spokeswoman for NCTD said there are protocols for many different unpredictable events, but she would need to refer to a manual before outlining the exact procedures.

"We absolutely do have processes in place to help stranded passengers out and get them where they need to go," said NCTD spokeswoman Katie Whichard.

The pedestrian was struck on the tracks at 5:40 a.m. at Coast Boulevard and 15th Street, according to the sheriff's department.

Anderson said he arrived at the Solana Beach station at 7:05 a.m. and only one bus arrived to transport passengers by 7:40 a.m., leaving half the travelers stranded. He said he didn't get to work until after 8 a.m.

"If it's going to be an hour, tell me it's going to be an hour and I'll call a cab," he said. "Don't just keep telling me it's going to be five more minutes."

Anderson said numerous court employees were also on the delayed trip and worried about the impact on public services.

The NCTD spokeswoman said this morning a northbound Amtrak train made additional stops for COASTER passengers who were displaced or delayed by the unforeseen incident. About the buses, she said the transit agency optimizes the use of vehicles to accommodate the greatest possible number of commuters every day.

"When a train is unable to continue as scheduled due to an unforeseen circumstance such as a trespasser strike, NCTD makes every effort to help stranded passengers reach their destinations as quickly as possible," Whichard wrote in an email statement.

Authorities cleared the scene before 8 a.m. Trains resumed operations around 7:52 a.m., according to NCTD. 

According to the Medical Examiner's office, authorities have not yet confirmed the woman's identity. She appeared to be in her early 50's, a Medical Examiner's office press release states. The press release also says that witnesses saw her laying on the railroad tracks prior to the accident.

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