Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, March 20 , 2019, 12:37 am | Fair 50º


Coroner Releases Name of Man Killed by Amtrak Train

A 57-year-old man has been identified as the person who was struck and killed by an Amtrak train Sunday in Santa Barbara in what authorities say was a suicide.

The Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office released the name of Thomas Michael Drennan of Santa Barbara on Tuesday after his family was notified, calling the death a suicide, according to Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department.

Emergency personnel were dispatched at about 2:20 p.m. Sunday to a report that a man had been hit by a train at Palermo Drive, near Las Positas and Modoc roads, according to Santa Barbara fire Battalion Chief Robert Mercado.

Drennan was pronounced dead at the scene.

Several witnesses reported seeing Drennan walking on the tracks with his back to the oncoming southbound train, Santa Barbara police Sgt. Eric Beecher told Noozhawk.

“The engineer tried to alert the man with his horn, and tried to stop the train,” Beecher said, but was unable to do so.

Investigators found a suicide note in a backpack that was left near the tracks, he said, and they remained on scene for an extended period, with the train stopped on the tracks.

The collision was the second between a pedestrian and train Sunday, since another pedestrian suffered minor injuries when clipped by a passenger train near Garden Street in a separate incident.

» Click here for free suicide prevention resources that are available 24 hours a day.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.