Man fatally struck by train at Powell Muni Metro Station ID'd

The man who was fatally struck by a train at the Powell Street Muni Metro Station in San Francisco on Saturday has been identified.
February 16, 2014 10:42:19 AM PST
The man who was fatally struck by a train at the Powell Street Muni Metro Station in San Francisco on Saturday has been identified as Michael Mendez, 55.

The Powell Street Muni Metro Station in San Francisco was shut down for several hours after the man was hit and killed by a train.

Police say the man was hit and killed by an outbound train at the Powell Street Station at about 2:40 p.m. on Saturday.

Moments after this all happened, we were able to talk with a few people who say they knew the man who was killed. They say he is homeless and stored his backpack under the Muni platform along with other people.

Multiple people have told AB7 News the man did not commit suicide, but instead was trying to get to his backpack when he was hit by the train.

MUNI officials say they do try to clear out any homeless encampments they find down on the platforms as quickly as possible. They say it's especially bad when it rains.

"For reasons of both fire laws and security some of the doors in some of the rooms down here must remain open, so occasionally we do find people that put belongings where they shouldn't," SFMTA Director John Haley said.

Police say paramedics quickly arrived, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A station agent aboard the train was hurt when it came to abrupt stop and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital for minor injuries.

The incident created a confusing situation for Muni riders, especially since Market Street was so congested in part because of the Chinese New Year Parade.

While the Powell Station was closed, Muni light rail vehicles between the Van Ness and Embarcardero stations was stopped. Muni tweeted that bus shuttles were running between the West Portal and Embarcadero stations.

At about 6:30 p.m., 511 Bay Area tweeted that normal service was resuming, though bus shuttles will remain in place.

BART was not affected by the station closure.


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