In unrelated incidents Tuesday afternoon, two people allegedly jumped in front of Bay Area Rapid Transit trains, killing one victim but leaving the other unscathed.
The incidents took place almost within an hour of each other, first at the Union City station and then at West Oakland, BART spokesman Linton Johnson reported Tuesday.
At Union City, a man described only as a “white man in his 40s,” made his way onto the tracks at about 1:25 p.m. Johnson said it is unclear whether he jumped from the platform or got there some other way. The man was hit by a train and killed.
The second incident, which started at about 2:50 p.m., was an apparent suicide attempt, Johnson said. A woman got onto the westbound tracks at the West Oakland BART station, leaving a suicide note on the platform, but the train apparently rolled right over her. “She was pulled out from under the train alive and relatively unscathed,” Johnson said. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital for psychiatric counseling.
The two incidents delayed BART commutes all afternoon. The Union City station was closed just after the incident began. BART set up a bus bridge around the station at 1:52 p.m., and reopened a single track at the station at 2:46 p.m. The station had to close again at 3:12 p.m. as coroner’s deputies closed the scene, but reopened at 4:14 p.m.
The West Oakland station was closed for about 35 minutes, Johnson said. Delays lingered throughout the system until about 5 p.m.
The closures kept office worker Dawn Tague at her desk for more than an hour after she heard about the delays.
“I was supposed to leave work at 3 p.m.,” Tague said as she waited for a train at the Embarcadero station around 4:45 p.m. “But I would rather stay at my desk than wait on the platform.”
Twenty-three-year-old IT specialist Mark Wilson said he encounters delays about every other week during his commute from Oakland to the Embarcadero station. One time it got so bad, he left, grabbed a burrito and returned to the station, he said.
“It’s frustrating,” Wilson said. “Usually I have to wait at the Embarcadero station for about an hour” when there’s a delay.
But Ben Schick, 44, said he rides between Berkeley and Oakland about three times a week. In the last three years, the media production company owner said he’s been delayed about five minutes by the train system.
“I’ve been in New York and Washington, D.C., and people here don’t know how good they have it” on BART, Schick said. He described BART as clean, safe and reliable.