A little more than a year after two men were struck and killed by an Amtrak train near the bottom of University Avenue, it’s happened again.
On Sunday evening, Nov. 22, at about 5:40 pm, Amtrak train 718 struck and killed a 30-year-old man near Addison Street and the railroad tracks, according to Officer Byron White of the Berkeley police department. The location was just a block south of the Berkeley Amtrak station at 700 University Ave.
The train, which had 27 passengers and four employees on board, was en route from Oakland to Bakersfield, according to Marc Magliari, an Amtrak spokesperson. The tracks are owned and maintained by Union Pacific Railroad, and used by Amtrak under an agreement.
Magliari said the train “made contact. . . with someone trespassing on the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad property at a crossing just west of the Berkeley station.”
The Alameda County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Marcus Jordan Stroud, of an unknown residence. Neither Magliari nor a Union Pacific spokesperson had more information about Stroud or whether his death was accidental or intentional.
A tipster who asked to remain anonymous told Berkeleyside she saw police and fire department action at about 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 22, near the tracks on Addison Street between 4th Street and 2nd Street. Police appeared to spend time at a nearby homeless encampment, she said. She suspected someone was hit by a train.
Unhoused people often camp out along the railroad tracks or set up tents nearby on both sides of Interstate 80.
Paul Kealoha-Blake, a member of the city’s Homeless Commission and a volunteer with the nonprofit Consider the Homeless, said he’d heard someone had been killed by a train near the Amtrak Station didn’t know any details. He hopes to learn more about the victim, Paul Kealoha-Blake said.
“There were still police there yesterday (Monday ),” he said. “It’s a big deal. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were a one off, but I’ve lost two people that I know down there in the past two years.”
Kealoha-Blake was referring to the September 2019 train death of two men, nicknamed Jupiter and Fixie. They were killed on the tracks by Amtrak train 717 at about 8 p.m. on September 12.
Jupiter and Fixie lived by the Seabreeze Market and Deli.
Three people killed by trains in the same area in two years “is not just circumstantial; it’s clearly turning into a problem,” Keahoa-Blake said.
On Sunday, train 718 was delayed for about four hours, Magliari said, and none of the passengers or employees were injured.
Berkeleyside will post updates as we learn more.