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Local News

Victims in Fatal Train Accident Were UCSB Researchers

Woman killed in accident along the Gaviota Coast apparently was from China

Three of the four people involved in a fatal train accident along the Gaviota Coast over the weekend were visiting scholars at UC Santa Barbara, university officials said Monday.

One person was killed and two others were injured Saturday evening when they were struck by a train at Vista Point, near Arroyo Hondo, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Visiting scholars are not students, but researchers who work with professors, George Foulsham, director of news and media relations for UCSB, told Noozhawk.

Foulsham said he could not immediately provide the names of those involved, or information about where they are from or what departments they were working for.

Additional details also may be limited due to privacy laws, he added.

Witnesses told Noozhawk the victims appeared to be of Asian descent.

Emergency personnel were called out at about 6 p.m. to Vista Point, near Arroyo Hondo, on a report that pedestrians had been hit by an Amtrak train, Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said.

A group of four people — two men and two women — were on a train trestle taking photographs when a southbound Amtrak train approached, Eliason said.

He said the group tried to get off the trestle, which bridges a deep coastal canyon, but were unable to do so, and were struck by the passenger train.

One woman, who apparently was from China, was knocked from the trestle and declared dead at the scene, Eliason said.

The Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office has not released the woman's name pending notification of relatives.

"All I can say is we are working with the Chinese Consulate and UCSB to make notification to next of kin," said Kelly Hoover, a coroner's spokeswoman.

Another woman suffered moderate injuries, and was taken by American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

One of the men had major injuries to his upper extremities and head, and was airlifted to the hospital by a Calstar helicopter, Eliason said

The fourth person was not injured.

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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