Teenage boy is hit, killed by train as he plays near the tracks

The third death on the Caltrain tracks in 12 days occurred Tuesday, when an adolescent boy was fatally struck south of the Broadway train station.

The boy, 13-year-old Fatih Kuc, was playing along the tracks and appeared to have accessed the area from a nearby dirt path, officials said. Police interviewed other children who witnessed the accident, and a police chaplain was on hand to comfort the boy’s family and witnesses, Caltrain spokesman Jonah Weinberg said.

Caltrain tracks were shut down in both directions shortly after the 2:40 p.m. accident, delaying commuters for at least 20 minutes before returning to single-track service. Both tracks were reopened at about 4 p.m. with 10-minute delays, according to Weinberg.

A Caltrain engineer reported seeing the boy trying to cross the tracks shortly before a southbound, local train struck him, Weinberg said.

“We hope that something can be taken away from this tragedy, and parents will see that it is really not safe for kids to be around train tracks,” Weinberg said. “As fun as it may be to go out and watch the train they really need to keep their distance."

Kuc’s family was notified of his death after arriving on the scene and speaking with the coroner, according to authorities. They could not be contacted last night.

Mary Jean Haski, a mother of 9-year-old twin boys who lives next door to the Kuc family on Linden Avenue, one block from the tracks, said she heard about the death on the radio on the way home. She said the Kuc children often played in their driveway.

“I had no idea it would be someone who lived right next door to us,” Haski said, noting that she had seen the Kuc children playing in their driveway. “This is horrible.”

Haski said she and her husband sat down immediately to tell their boys that crossing the tracks was very dangerous, even if other people did it regularly.

Two deaths occurred on April 6, one involving Qun Jeng, 49, who reportedly jumped in front of a train in Mountain View in an apparent suicide at 7:15 a.m. Only hours later, José Alvarez, 19, was walking with friends near the tracks between Whipple and Howard avenues at the border of Redwood City and San Carlos.

One of the three Redwood High Continuation School students with Alvarez at the time told authorities he tried to beat the train. Alvarez was a boxer who trained at Bellafatto Boxing Academy in Redwood City but lived in Hayward. He was not a student at Redwood High Continuation.

ecarpenter@examiner.com

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