Chinese Man on Path to U.S. Citizenship Killed by Train in Mission Hills

The victim's daughter said the man took his first citizenship interview just hours before the deadly collision.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A man was hit and killed by an Amtrak train just steps away from his wife at the Washington Street trolley stop in Mission Hills Tuesday, according to deputies.

The victim's family identified him as 79-year-old Wentian He, a Chinese man who was on his way home from taking his first citizenship interview.

He and his wife Shuxia He had just gotten off the trolley and were going to catch a bus home before the collision occurred, according to their daughter Lilian Zheng.

The train was traveling nearly 50 mph when it hit He, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

NBC 7's Omari Fleming reports with the latest from the scene of the accident.

The train's engineer told SDSO investigators they sounded the horn to alert the man as he ran toward the tracks but was unable to stop.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the SDSO.

Zheng described her father as a kind and patient man who was always willing to help someone else.

"I just wished he enjoyed more freedom here," she said. "That was really a pity he was not able to. He watched a lot of TV from China and it tells a lot of lies and misinformation, so he didn't know. He didn't want to engage because he was afraid of that."

He came to the U.S. in 2007 and just celebrated his 79 birthday last month.

San Diego police, firefighters, and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Rail Enforcement Team responded to the scene.

Check back for update on this developing story.

Contact Us