PALMDALE – A woman pushing a cart full of clothes across the railroad track was struck and killed by a Metrolink train in Palmdale Tuesday evening, authorities said.
Around 7:05 p.m., deputies responded to the Metrolink tracks at Palmdale Boulevard, according to Lt. K. Wright of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station. An unidentified woman, possibly in her 40’s, was found dead on the west side of the tracks, about 150 feet north of Palmdale Boulevard, Wright stated.
A witness told deputies the victim was pushing a shopping cart full of folded laundry on the north sidewalk, and the victim pushed the cart onto the tracks while the crossing arms were down, Wright stated.
The wheels of the cart apparently got stuck on the west track, and the victim struggled to free the cart as the northbound train approached, according to Wright.
“Just before the train reached her, the victim seemed to become paralyzed and simply stood in place, staring at the train until it hit her,” Wright stated.
The train continued for another 500 yards before it was able to stop. About 80 passengers were on the train, and they were released at the Clock Tower Plaza stop, Wright stated.
Around 8:45 p.m., the tracks were re-opened to Metrolink trains at restricted speeds, sheriff’s officials said.
UPDATED 2/6/14: The victim has been identified as 53-year-old Geraldine Anne Denning, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Denning was homeless, coroner’s officials said.
UPDATED 2/21/14 by Daché Jackson: Geraldine Nan Denning was a 52-year-old woman with eight grand kids, according to her family. Tammie Powell, Denning’s sister, said, “She was trying to get her cart off of the tracks, she didn’t want the train to get into an accident [and risk hurting the passengers] over a cart.” Denning decided to move to Palmdale to be closer to her daughter, and lived in Palmdale on and off for the past 10 years, Powell said.