Pedestrian struck by Sounder train in Edmonds Tuesday

The pedestrian fatality involving the Sounder Train occurred near the Edmonds off-leash dog park. (Photo by Julia Wiese)

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a Sounder commuter train heading northbound into the Edmonds station around 5 p.m. Tuesday, delaying service and canceling Seattle-based departures for Sound Transit’s northline service.

Edmonds police spokesperson Sgt. Josh McClure said the incident — which occurred just south of Dayton Street near the off-leash dog park — appeared to be a suicide based on information obtained from a train employee.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide:

• 24-hour local crisis line: 800-584-3578 

• 24-hour chat service: 

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255) 

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  1. I am appalled that someone would so brazenly do that kind of psychological.damage to the train conductor. How awful for witnesses.

      1. What is very troublesome is cars that do not stop before the railroad tracks. Just because the barriers are not down does not mean a train is not going to cross.

      2. My heart goes out to you! That is so traumatic. Please watch out for signs of PTSD from witnessing this horrific even! Prayers for you.

    1. I’m not sure “brazen” is a word that accurately reflects this situation, imho. it’s virtually *impossible* for a person that desperate to be thinking of anything… except how to end their pain. so sad…. for all involved.

      1. I agree with your sentiment. I don’t think this unfortunate individual had any malice toward the conductor or anyone for that matter. A sad ending ending for this person and distressing for all.

        1. I was on the train. Well I was on the train that was behind the accident train we were stopped for around 2 hours

      2. Agreed, this is mental health issues, not the idea of being “selfish” as some might describe it.

    2. Unfortunately and tragically people that are so desperate to stop the pain of living by means of suicide are not typically considering the feelings of others.

    3. People who are so depressed that they want to kill themselves can’t think about anything but their own pain.
      Prayers for the family.

    4. I’m so sad they were so disturbed and sad for their family. Obviously someone making that choice was not thinking rationally at the time.

    5. My boyfriends mom was on that train and has not been the same as she heard felt and saw things happen that was very unpleasant.

  2. This is the second time that this has happened in recent years. There has to be a way to protect mentally ill people who are experiencing suicidal ideation at this part of the train tracks. My condolences to the family and friends of this person.

    1. Agree. It’s right after the curve so the conductor doesn’t see the person until there’s not enough time to stop. And the dogs sometimes get over to side where fence isn’t in place when the tide is low.

      1. The trains if that close should be doing whistle alerts going thru a town. I have many friends and relatives who have been engineers (that is who drives the trains I believe. not the conductor. I studied with a friend to help them learn those signal whistle sequences. SO anywhere that their are people and this is a park ha their should have been a train whistle that could have been heard. WAS there? If not.. Weird. Also before the train could see a person it would be way too late to stop that train… I know this for a fact. The only fault if we need a fault is that we had a depressed individual who wanted to end it all. This should be looked at no differently than any other suicide. My grandfather worked for B and N all of his life as an Engineer. Once this happened to him. Not a thing he could do about it and he of course got into no trouble but yes he did for about a year have a lot of trouble handling the fact that he was the driver and a person died. So yeah he or she needs some counseling and they will be fine. My condolences to the family, and to the driver of the train. Deb.

    2. As a former Sounder train commuter, I’m heartbroken about hearing this news.

      Jenna – I believe this is the 3rd time this has happened since 2017.

    3. As sad and tragic as it is if someone is intent upon killing themselves there isn’t much anyone can do. They will find a way. What friends and family CAN do is ask the hard questions when we notice something. Usually there are signs. For instance, “are you considering hurting yourself, do you have a plan????” Or just directly…”are you thinking about suicide?” Of course that may not help. I asked my sister that question and she said she would never do it…and then she did.

    4. It’s actually happened a few times over the years. It is impossible to prevent suicide; by train or other means, from those who are deeply suicidal.

    5. Its the 3rd! Unfortunately I was at the beach and witnessed two of them (luckily not this one). Luckily I couldnt see the body in either case but I did watch the conductor get out and evaluate both times, I cant even imagine. So incredibly sad for everyone. I do wish there was a way to prevent or help in this area. Even some hotline signs in the area…. ??

  3. Kimberly Petersen,

    From your statement it appears you are fortunate to not be familiar with with the darkness of the mind, where one becomes so in the moment, the feeling all hope is lost – that one is better off dead than alive for the sake of all.

    I doubt the suicidal individual took count of the one, two, three, four, etc number before ending his or her life. Depression can be similar to an autoimmune disease in that the body (in this case the mind) destroys itself.

    I send peace to all. Kindly forgive those who do not know.

    1. My son shot himself last August. The trickle down is devistating. Suicide is very painful for family and friends. Those who wrote in are right . Being hooked into this action of ending the suffering is their goal. We miss our wonderful child big time.

  4. I was on that train going back to Everett. Actually it happened on or about 5pm since that train was scheduled to arrive at Edmonds at 5pm. It was a sad experience.

  5. Suicide by train is a sad reality in the developed world. “John Tolman, spokesman for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, said the average train engineer will see three suicides during his 25 years on the job. A commuter rail engineer will see as many as 20 in his career.”

  6. First off, this is a different perspective… Bob Margulis- sadly I believe your stats are way low. I researched and reread a KOMO article from Dec 2019 where five pedestrians had died in three days! Kimberly Petersen – It’s not known that this was definitely a “suicide”. Many times, walkers on the tracks have earbuds on, not to mention, those Sounder trains are super quiet and could probably blow a loud horn upon approaching certain curves. Your comment was very insensitive. That deceased person’s friends and relatives read MEN. Nearly as bad is this from me – I once knew a local train conductor whom I asked about this. His reply – “…suicides happen all the time in my line of work. They give me time off with pay to deal with the trauma. I remodeled my kitchen…” He was chuckleling as he said ” trauma”. I no longer have anything to do with such a crass human being.

    1. Char–I believe you may have misinterpreted my quote. You are correct that many more people are run over by trains annually in the US and in some are deemed suicides. According to an article in the Washington Post in 2018 “300 times last year, people walked onto railroad tracks to intentionally put themselves in the path of a train — and in 266 cases they successfully committed suicide.” The data I related in my original comment was in reference to the number of suicides a given engineer will be involved with over the span of their career and comes from their union.

  7. As a retired Professor of Psychiatry, I can tell you that walking in front of a train is an extremely hostile act not to be dismissed because the individual is depressed or psychotic.

  8. Isn’t it fenced? IF not their should be a fence one cannot climb over or under all along those tracks like it or not. If you want to set it up with the RR who is servicing this I suggest they might have some ideas too. 3 times in 4 years that’s a lot for a RR crossing suicide. Now you are going to hate this but their should be a fence all along sunset. A real fence that no one can climb over. i know…problem isnt it. Well if the RR is in anyway held accountable for no signals or gate closings then THE RR is gonna put up a fence I guarantee it. I suggest take the offence right away.

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