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Metrolink train death ruled a suicide, victim identified

A woman killed at the Cambridge Avenue Metrolink crossing in Claremont on Tuesday morning has been identified as 24-year-old Deashanique Miller of San Francisco, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office. Her death has been ruled a suicide.

Inspector Courtney Castellino of the LA County Coroner’s office confirmed Ms. Miller’s identity Wednesday morning.

The incident took place just before 9 a.m., according to the Claremont Police Department, when Ms. Miller stepped out into the path of a westbound train.

Two groups of students from Sycamore Elementary were on board the Metrolink as they made their way to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles on a field trip. No passengers on the train were injured.

Ms. Miller’s sister, Danielle Chavarry, described her as a "smart, goofy" woman who loved playing basketball and running track and field.

“Out of all of us she was the most vibrant, talkative and happy person I’ve ever met,” Ms. Chavarry said. “I don’t understand it.”

Ms. Chavarry said she had no idea her younger sister had traveled to Claremont but noted that she had suffered from depression in the past.

“We hadn’t had a real talk about it,” Ms. Chavarry said. “It looked like she was going through a lot more than any one of us knew.”

A GoFundMe page has been created by the family to pay for Ms. Miller’s funeral expenses. (https://www.gofundme.com/2627a6us)

Sherry Calloway, a friend of Ms. Miller, told the COURIER in an interview that the two grew up together while attending church in Northern California. Ms. Calloway described Ms. Miller as “a great person” who was always willing to help a friend in need.

“It’s crazy. It’s really hard to take in,” Ms. Calloway said.

Trains were allowed to pass through the area on the south track as officials conducted the investigation on Tuesday. Metrolink trains on the San Bernardino line were delayed up to 50 minutes, according to a statement from Metrolink.

Jim Elsasser, superintendent of the Claremont Unified School District, said two classes of upper-graders from Sycamore were headed to Union Station for a day field trip when the accident occurred. Two additional classes of fourth through sixth graders were waiting at the Claremont Depot to board a second train.

“Kids were held on the train until about 11 a.m. while officials completed the investigation,” he said.

After the “all-clear,” Mr. Elsasser explained that the train continued on from Cambridge Avenue to the Garey Avenue Metrolink station, where CUSD had a bus waiting to bring the students back to Sycamore.

“The Claremont police did an amazing job of supporting our staff and students,” he said. “They had officers on the train waiting with the kids and providing support. We also had many parent volunteers on the train supporting our students through the ordeal.”

Students then went back to classes. The district provided a team of psychologists and counselors at Sycamore for students and staff who were struggling with the ordeal.

“We hare happy to say that all our kids are all safe,” Mr. Elsasser said.

Police are investigating the incident. If you or anyone you know is exhibiting signs that they may be considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com