Woman dies after being hit by train in SLO

A San Luis Obispo transient woman in her early 50s was hit by an Amtrak train Monday night and later died, according to the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

The incident took place on the railroad tracks near Tank Farm Road and was reported at 8:46 p.m., police Lt. Bill Proll said.

“We don’t know whether it was a suicide, or if she was drunk and may have passed out, or if it was an accident,” Proll said.

Police Capt. Chris Staley said the woman had mental health issues and was known to police. Her identity hasn’t been released pending notification of family members. A toxicology examination also is pending.

Proll said the woman was lying in between the two sets of tracks, not on the tracks, when she was struck by the northbound Amtrak train.

She was alive when authorities arrived and was taken to a local hospital, where she later died from her injuries.

Proll said that it may be difficult to determine exactly why the woman was lying by the tracks. He also said that Amtrak trains can be quieter, and more difficult to hear approaching than much noisier freight trains.

Staley said police were aware of who the woman was because of past incidents that drew police responses.

However, Staley said those incidents were minor in nature, and related to disturbances rather than serious or violent crimes.