SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP/KRON) – Authorities have identified a 5-year-old boy who was killed by a train as he walked by himself along tracks in Santa Clara.
The boy, Leonardo Shiyanga-Ommani, was struck Saturday afternoon and pronounced dead at the scene.
Santa Clara Police Department Capt. Wahid Kazem says a joint investigation between Amtrak and Santa Clara police departments is ongoing to determine how exactly Leonardo ended up on the tracks alone.
Kazem says police first received a call from an onlooker shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday of a child near the tracks and as officers responded, another call came in that the collision had occurred.
Amtrak’s Capital Corridor trains in and out of San Jose, as well as one eastbound ACE train headed for Stockton, were delayed for several hours.
In a statement, Santa Clara police said the boy was playing in his family’s backyard prior to the train collision, while his parents were inside the house.
Police say the child removed some fence boards in the backyard and found his way to the train tracks without his parents’ knowledge.
Police believe he was only gone from the backyard for a few minutes before the 911 caller spotted him near the tracks.
The boy’s parents also shared with investigators that the 5-year-old has special needs.
“The City of Santa Clara considers this to be a tragic accident that has deeply affected the family, witnesses, first responders and train personnel. We call upon the wider Bay Area community to extend its sympathy and comfort to all those who have been affected,” the police department said in its statement.
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