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Second person in two days struck, killed by SMART train in Rohnert Park

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A person was struck by a SMART train and killed Friday morning in Rohnert Park, the second fatality in two days at the same intersection where a woman died Thursday while trying to outrun a commuter train.

The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety sent out an alert at 7:27 a.m. warning drivers to avoid the intersection of Golf Course Drive near Commerce Boulevard due to the crash, which was reported to emergency dispatchers at 6:42 a.m. Eastbound lane Golf Course Drive was closed.

The person was struck by a train heading south on the commuter rail line. The body was thrown into bushes on the west side of the tracks, and a bicycle wheel could be seen leaning against a nearby fence. Rohnert Park Public Safety officers marked the person’s belongings with white evidence cards.

Friday’s crash is the sixth fatal collision involving the North Bay’s passenger rail line since it started running in August 2017.

SMART said it would be using buses to transport passengers to stations from Cotati to the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport. Train service would continue for stations south of Cotati to San Rafael.

In Thursday’s crash, Jimmie Joy Qualls, 30, of La Grange, walked under the gate crossing arm on Golf Course Drive near Commerce Boulevard and then was hit by a northbound Sonoma-Marin Area Transit train about 8 a.m., Rohnert Park Public Safety Deputy Chief Aaron Johnson said.

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