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Turlock railroad tracks site of suicide
RR at Tuolumne
The latest train-related fatality occurred around 4:30 a.m. Saturday at the railroad crossings at Tuolumne and N. Golden State Boulevard. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

For the third time in little more than a month’s time span a Turlock man has died on the railroad tracks running through town.

The latest fatality occurred around 4:30 a.m. Saturday at the railroad crossings at Tuolumne and N. Golden State Boulevard.

The death is a suspected suicide, according to the Turlock Police Department. The man killed in the incident has been identified by the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office as Russell Holgate, 58.

Union Pacific contacted the police department and stated an individual had just been struck by a train.

According to the conductor’s statement, Holgate was sitting on the railroad tracks cross-legged and facing the approaching freight train.

The train was traveling at approximately 50 mph when it struck Holgate.

The police department found the remains about 100 yards south of Tuolumne Road.

Turlock almost saw two more train fatalities over the weekend. Around 4:30 p.m. Saturday an 84-year-old man accidentally crossed over the railroad tracks at Golden State Boulevard and Olive Avenue after the crossing arms were lowered.

The man made it over the tracks just before the approaching train passed through the intersection. He told officers he didn’t see the lowered crossing arms.

A Union Pacific crew responded to the area and repaired the broken crossing arm.

That same intersection saw a similar accident exactly one year prior that resulted in the death of an 80-year-old woman.

On Sunday a 37-year-old man went to the Public Safety Facility and reported that he was despondent and wanted to kill himself by stepping into the path of an oncoming train. The man was taken to the Stanislaus County Behavioral Center for evaluation.

The fatality on Saturday marked the third recent death Turlock has seen on the railroad tracks. On Aug. 16, Edison Moshol, 56, of Turlock was killed when he rode his bicycle around the crossing arms at the railroad tracks at Marshall Street and was struck and killed.

On July 19, David Arthur Sanchez, 39, of Turlock was killed when he tried to cross at Golden State Boulevard and Fulkerth Road on his bicycle as a train approached.

In 2010 Turlock saw four deaths on a four mile stretch of railroad tracks within an eight month time span.