On Thursday evening, December 19, 2019 at approximately 7:50 PM, it was reported to 9-1-1 a pedestrian was struck by a northbound Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train (SMART) in the area of the 800 block of Grant Avenue near Railroad Avenue, Novato. First Responders were summoned to the scene and discovered the subject lifeless and unresponsive with blunt traumatic injuries present upon his body consistent with having been struck. Preliminary investigation completed by the Novato Police Department, SMART authorities and the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, Coroner Division confirmed the subject was trespassing on railway property and was walking alone on the railway tracks south of the grade crossing – crosswalk in the path of the oncoming train at the time of the collision. No evidence of a criminal act or foul play was noted at the scene or suspected.
The decedent has been identified as: Ernest CALDWELL JR., a 71-year-old-male from Novato, CA.
A forensic post mortem examination with toxicology testing has been completed. The cause and manner of death will be provided at the conclusion of the investigation by the Novato Police Department and this office pending forensic toxicology testing results. No further information will be released by the Coroner Division at this time, as this is an active and ongoing investigation. Any further questions regarding the incident should be directed to the Novato Police Department.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office and personnel of the Coroner Division offer our best wishes and condolences to the family and friends or Mr. Caldwell Jr.
Roger G. Fielding, Chief Deputy Coroner