Train kills mother, daughter in San Leandro

Louis LaVenture,

A mother and her 3-year-old daughter from Oakland were killed by a train in San Leandro on Tuesday afternoon.

Thirty-year-old Vanessa Marisol Henriquez was running errands with her daughter Saidy when her Toyota Rav-4 stopped on the train tracks near Chapman Road and Washington Avenue, according to family members. The vehicle was struck by the Capitol Corridor Amtrak Train headed from San Jose to Sacramento and both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

“The heavy traffic in the area may have forced the vehicle to stop on the tracks,” San Leandro Police Lieutenant Robert McManus said.

Construction crews were working on the road in the area, which caused traffic to “bottleneck” according to McManus. Several witnesses, many of whom remained at the scene well into the night, said the vehicle was stopped on the tracks when the train struck it. According to Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham, there were 39 passengers and three crew members on board, none of whom were hurt.

“We heard and felt the train slow down,” train passenger Paul Wilke said. “Then a little bump and then we stopped.”

According to Alameda County Fire Department representative Aisha Knowles, firefighters responded to the scene around 1:19 p.m. and attempted life-saving techniques on both victims but were unsuccessful. Knowles also confirmed that the vehicle was a quarter mile down the road from the intersection where it was hit when crews arrived, and that trains in the area travel a maximum of 70 miles per hour.

According to several family members who showed up to the scene, Henriquez is survived by husband Lorenzo Henriquez Salmeron and a 10-year-old son. According to family members, the family lives in Oakland but both Vanessa and Lorenzo are originally from El Salvador.

Photo Courtesy of Courtesy of Lorenzo Henriquez Salmeron