The Chief's Blog
April - 2014
I wanted to utilize this month's blog entry to address the tragic train versus pedestrian incident that occurred on Friday March 21st on the tracks along Earl Yorton Little League Park. First and foremost my heart and prayers and those of the Marysville Police Department staff goes out to the family of young Mateus Moore who did not survive this tragic incident. In the same manner our thoughts and prayers turn toward a full and speedy recovery for sixteen year old Mickayla Friend who was seriously injured during this incident.
It would seem to go without saying that it is extremely dangerous to use the railroad easements as pedestrian byways, however the fact of the matter is that despite efforts to educate the public about those dangers we continue to see people attempting to occupy the same space as a freight train.
As reported by the Appeal Democrat in the March 25th edition with information from the Yuba County Coroner's logs, there have been at least 4 fatalities just within Marysville between 2000 - 2014 and 15 fatalities county wide within that same time period. Granted not all of these incidents involved pedestrians, however as reported, the majority of these incidents were pedestrian related.
The Marysville Police Department does routinely issue railroad easement trespassing citations. However, it is clear that no amount of law enforcement citation issuance or enforcement alone can change this behavior. It is incumbent upon our citizenry to be the eyes and ears for law enforcement by reporting violations, interacting, and educating our children of the dangers associated with walking along the railroad easements.
Trains are a long time reality for our community and will continue to be a reality for us going forward. As a community integrated with the railroad system we need to ensure that we are respecting the dangers associated with that reality. A train is not a simple machine to slow down or stop. Due to their sheer size and weight they can take more than a mile to bring to a complete stop.
If the fear of death or serious injury is not deterrent enough then please understand, if you are observed by the Marysville Police Department trespassing on the railroad easement you will be detained and issued a citation to appear before the Yuba County courts. So PLEASE stay off of the railway easements and teach your children to respect them as well. After all, this past week's tragedy is a saddening reminder of how precious and fragile life is.
David L. Baker
Chief of Police