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Tow Truck Driver Killed by Train Identified

Shaun Riddle, 27, was killed Saturday afternoon in Cardiff. He was assisting the driver of an SUV that stalled just west of the tracks.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. Sunday

Authorities today publicly identified the tow truck driver who was struck and killed by an Amtrak train at a railroad crossing in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

Shaun William Riddle, 27, was attempting to hook a vehicle stalled at Chesterfield Drive and South Coast Highway 101 to the flatbed tow truck about 2:35 p.m. Saturday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.

Riddle was apparently assisting the owner of a broken-down SUV just west of the tracks, sheriff's officials said.

Related: Tow Truck Driver Dead After Train Hits Vehicle in Cardiff

A southbound Surfliner train approached the intersection and Riddle got back into the truck to move it out of the train's path, but could not do so, the Medical Examiner's Office reported.

The train was traveling at a high rate of speed when it struck the tow truck, which reportedly was between closed crossing arms, authorities said. The rig was demolished.

Riddle died at the scene, the Medical Examiner's Office said.

The southbound train stopped at the Solana Beach station, where several of the 125 passengers aboard were treated for minor injuries. Passengers were transferred to another train or buses, and the tracks were reopened shortly before 5 p.m.

—City News Service

RATSJ December 10, 2012 at 07:05 AM
How very sad. Prayers for his family during this difficult time.
Unknown December 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Shaun iam gonna miss you i remember when we use to hang everyday after work and play darts and games i will miss you bro i will never forget you and you will all ways be in every body harts and minds forever we all love you bro RIP Shaun, Thanks for everything it was an honor knowing you. Your frined Jonnie
ron ranson December 10, 2012 at 05:10 PM
It's sure a mystery as to how this happened. Couldn't a call to 911 prevented this? Was a call made? Didn't the train's engineer see the truck on the tracks? /Were the brakes applied? He/she has a clear vision for at least 1/4 of a mile. What is the standard procedure here -- is the train crew tested for drug and alcohol use? I believe there is a security camcorder at the front of the train. That should show a lot of what happened. Other reports say the truck or SUV was stuck between the gates which were down. I don't think that is correct...the gates only provide a barrier on one side so cars can't be stuck between two gates. Such a tragedy. It's very upsetting.
Chris Saunders December 10, 2012 at 07:53 PM
This is such a tragedy. Unfortunately, it can take miles for trains to stop when they are at full speed. I also wish someone had called 911 so the engineer could have been alerted in advance.
Mr Brains December 16, 2012 at 09:15 AM
People are stupid and don't make things safe .....use your brain .....pedestrians always have the right away if a train was ever dangerous in a area make a overpass

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