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Man hit, killed by Worcester Line train in Newton

Updated.

An inbound Worcester Line train hit and killed a man on the tracks in Auburndale around 9:15 a.m., Transit Police report, adding he was "trespassing" on the tracks.

The man, white and in his 50s, was hit just past where the line crosses the Charles River.

Passengers on the train remained onboard until about 10:25 a.m., when a rescue train pulled up beside it and passengers transferred for the ride towards Boston.

At 9:46 a.m., Mike Murph reported from the train:

Conductor said someone was hit. All conductors are visibly shaken.

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Comments

I believe people have a right to end their lives. It's not an easy choice and it's not a choice which should be made without careful consideration. But it is decision an adult should be able to make legally. They should be be ready to answer to their god and no one else.

Right now it's illegal. We have social services to help those who want to live (suicide hot lines, etc) but if you face legal ramifications if you try and fail. This leads to people trying to kill themselves in ways which not only hurt them, hurt all the people who must deal with the aftermath. Train conductors, bystanders, clean up crews, first responders, etc. That make a bad situation worse.

If people had a legal way of ending their lives perhaps we'd have less of these sorts of horrible events where people feel the only way out is to throw themselves in front of a train or truck. People might also have a change of heart sitting in a hospital for a few hours before an injection is made.

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Rather than assist otherwise healthy people in killing themselves (unless they have a fatal disease and a limited time to live, likely in pain), I'd prefer we get them better mental health treatment. If we had a health system that didn't make people feel like it was out to lock them away for being "crazy", or unable to understand what makes one anti-depressive medication better than another for specific individuals, or provide for more counselors with different approaches to best suit everyone with adequate availability, or better financially provide for someone going through trouble which makes them less likely to hold down a steady job...if we provided for people with mental illnesses the way we do for physical illnesses, then maybe there'd be far fewer that make the decision to end it all.

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...she'd be a bicycle.

(do you have any indication that it was suicide? There seems to be none at this time, so why write an essay about the need to support tidy suicides?)

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Generally the police use the term "trespassing" to refer to suicide or intentionally putting themselves on the tracks as opposed to someone who was crossing the street and didn't hear/see the train.

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I'd never heard that before. There's nothing in the report that indicates this person was crossing a street. People do walk along tracks for reasons other than suicide (because often a railroad right-of-way is the best way to get from here to there). I would think that the mention of "trespassing" would be to clarify that the person was not in a publicly accessible area (e.g., a crossing at a station stop) and hadn't got there by misadventure (fell or was pushed).

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A railroad right of way is NEVER "the best way to get from here to there."

Trespassing refers to anyone on the tracks anywhere, at any time, who is not supposed to be there. The only legal way for you to be standing between those rails is at a designated public crossing.

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A railroad right of way is NEVER "the best way to get from here to there."

I didn't say I did it, but some people do. It's not the same thing as suicide, is the point.

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We have a lot of them around here. Two that I know of on the Fitchburg Line:

- from Channing Road to Belmont High School
- behind Walden Pond. There are directional signs inviting hikers and cross-country skiers to cross the tracks here

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If a crossing is "unofficial", then common sense should dictate that crossing there constitutes trespassing.

The FRA maintains a database of crossings, whether they're public or private, roads, driveways, or ped crossings: http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/officeofsafety/publicsite/crossing/xingqry...

The crossing behind Belmont High School I would say is not a legal crossing, based on a quick look on Google Maps and the fact that it doesn't appear in the FRA database.

The Walden Pond crossing I'm not sure about. I can't find it in the FRA database, and I haven't been there so I can't vouch for the signs, but I'm leaning toward it not actually being a legal crossing, but only because DCR decided to just throw up signs without actually filing the proper paperwork.

Essentially, just because many people have used a crossing for years, and everyone knows about it, that doesn't make it legal, which matters in cases like this. If a person is struck crossing at an unofficial, non-legal crossing, they are generally considered trespassing.

Note though that I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, and if any of the above is factually incorrect, feel free to correct.

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Suicide is not illegal in the United States, and is not punishable by for failed attempts. This is a common misconception.

"In the past, many states had laws that regarded the act of suicide as a felony, but these laws were seldom enforced. In the 1980s, 30 out of 50 United States has no laws opposing suicide or attempting suicide. With that said, all 50 states had laws stating that assisted suicide is a felony. Currently there is no law against the act of committing suicide in the United States."

Source: http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/07/24/is-suicide-illegal-suicide-laws-...

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This is a dangerous location where people cross the tracks. The old Riverside station operated there until 1975 and there was an underpass under the two mainline tracks (four, until the Turnpike was built) from the street. It is still there, and it's very sketchy and low and drippy and dark and scary, but the other option is to climb up over the embankment, listen for the sound of a train coming, and run across the tracks. They put up a sign that says "No Trespassing Unsafe" but the other option is to go up over the tracks, also trespassing, also unsafe. This is the only way to get to a bit of parkland from Newton, especially since the old footbridge at between the Worcester Line and the Turnpike was condemned a while ago. Not sure if that's what was going on, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was not a suicide.

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If you go down the other dead end, it appears you can walk around the pumping station (the famous one that caused the entire city to lose drinking water for a week) and then come back across a footbridge if you really needed to be on the east bank of the park there.

It's quite a bit of a longer walk, so I can understand why people would cut across the tracks there, though.

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That whole area is a maze of train tracks, highways, and rivers.

I wish they'd build a network of pedestrian paths and footbridges (and fix up the existing condemned ones), to provide access to parkland, and also enable walking from the Riverside Green Line station to the Liberty Mutual office park and other destinations to the west without going more than a mile out of your way.

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The sign is long gone, it has been cleaned and painted and the tunnel floor was free of glass as of two weeks ago. That is probably not true now with the party weather of late. Some volunteers were clearing out the area about three weeks ago. The DCR has plans for more improvements to the Riverside Park trails aka MWRA sewer easement. I was on Monday's train. R.I.P. troubled man.

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