Thursday, October 25, 2007

Man killed by Amtrak train in Goleta

BY COLBY FRAZIER
DAILY SOUND STAFF WRITER

A Goleta man well known to local law enforcement stepped in front of a northbound Amtrak train last night near Fairview Avenue, refused to move when the conductor sounded the train’s horn and was killed on impact, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials said.
Senior Deputy Matt McFarlin said the man who he believed was killed was a transient who has resided in a small encampment near the railroad tracks for more than a decade.

“I don’t think we even know this guy’s name,” McFarlin said. “He’s never really acted out. His oddness scares people.”
Amtrak conductor Jim Mulroony said the collision occurred at 5:45 p.m. Because of the accident's close proximity to the Goleta Amtrak platform, train passengers were allowed to exit the train and walk the quarter-mile to the station.
McFarlin said the man who he believes was killed always wore a piece of cloth over his face and never showed any skin and, as a result, was nicknamed “Darthfader,” by locals.
“He’s just one of those figures you can’t miss,” McFarlin said, adding that during his tenure as a deputy the man had been booked only one time into County Jail.
While pedestrian-versus-train collisions are fairly regular near Santa Barbara’s corridor, McFarlin said they are rare in Goleta.
But a wooden memorial bench, carefully carved and crafted near the site of last night’s accident indicated at least one other death has occurred there.
“I’m almost positive it’s engraved into a memorial,” McFarlin said of the bench.
While the bench doesn’t specify how the person it memorializes was killed, it says “In loving memory of Timothy Paul Baker. RIP my son, love dad.”
The blaring light of the stopped train, the gurney with the man’s body being pushed down the tracks all reinforced Mulroony’s take on the night.
“It’s a tragedy; there’s no other way to describe it,” Mulroony said. “It’s kind of a sad story altogether.”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very sad--"Juan Doe" aka "The Boogy Man", is dead.

Anonymous said...

re: 'His oddness scares people'

The first time I saw him at the Goleta 7/11 I was concerned but soon realized that he was accepted there by the staff and customers.

I'm sorry that he couldn't break out of his terrible isolation.

I am also sorry for the engineer who was the last person to see him alive ... tonight was especially sad as the train mournfully whistled its way through Goleta.

R.I.P

john said...

"Bagman" was an institution in Goleta for over ten years. It is sad that he is now gone. We will miss his constant sitings.

Anonymous said...

Goleta eas probably the only place in the world where he could be happy and accepted by people, and not be harrassed and run off. He loved reading the newspapers. When he lived in SB years ago he used to write his own handwritten "newspapers" and he xeroxed them and placed them in free newsparer boxes, in the plastic windows, and left copies of them inside the boxes. he never hurt anybody. He was kust the way he was. I'm sorry that "Crazy Connie" wasn't killed, instead.

Anonymous said...

I remember him and the "cammo vet" -- they lived around the same area for over 10 years.

They never really bothered anyone...

R.I.P