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Amtrak Train Strikes and Kills 21-Year-Old Woman in Old Town Goleta

Fatality occurred near the north end of Magnolia Avenue; victim identified as Maria Valasquez-Cruz of Goleta

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies responded to Old Town Goleta Tuesday evening after a pedestrian was struck and killed by an Amtrak train.
Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies responded to Old Town Goleta Tuesday evening after a pedestrian was struck and killed by an Amtrak train. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Emergency personnel were called out Tuesday evening after a 21-year-old woman was struck and killed by an Amtrak train near Old Town Goleta.

The incident occurred shortly after 6 p.m. near the north end of Magnolia Avenue, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Fire crews and an ambulance were canceled after sheriff's deputies on scene determined that the pedestrian was dead, Zaniboni said.

Maria Valasquez-Cruz of Goleta was walking west between the rails when an Amtrak Pacific Surfliner passenger train approached from behind, according to sheriff's Lt. Craig Bonner.

"The engineer driving the train attempted to warn Ms. Velasquez-Cruz by repeatedly sounding the train's horn and activated the train's emergency brakes," Bonner said. "Ms. Velasquez-Cruz did not move out of the way and was hit by the train."

There were reports that Velasquez-Cruz was wearing earphones at the time, Bonner said, adding that "our investigators are looking into this possibility, but have not been able to verify this as being the case."

The sheriff's Coroner's Unit was conducting the death investigation, Bonner said, while the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Railroad Administration was investigating the accident.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

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