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Family looks for answers after man hit, killed by train in Sacramento County

KCRA Sacramento logo KCRA Sacramento 2/14/2020
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A family is looking for answers after a homeless man was struck and killed by a train in Sacramento County.

Just after 4 a.m. Monday, a Union Pacific train heading westbound in Sacramento County hit and killed 42-year-old Mark Cornaggia along the stretch of track near Roseville Road and Longview Drive.

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His family is devastated.

"I was told my nephew Mark was hit by a train and passed away," said Mark Cornaggia's uncle, Jeff Limones.

Limones said the two people with his nephew at the time aren't telling the truth.

"They said he went back looking for a flashlight, and I don't think he was looking for a flashlight. I think somebody pushed him into the train and he got killed," Limones said.

The incident happened near a homeless encampment. Mark Cornaggia's sister-in-law, Angela Cornaggia, said he was homeless, but she says this isn't the first time this has happened to someone there.

"They just passed it off as 'Oh a homeless guy got hit by a train.' He wasn't just a homeless guy, He was a dad, a brother, a nephew," Angela Cornaggia said. "He was a person just like everybody else, and so if you've never been homeless, you don't know the struggles and you will be out at 4 in the morning to eat or survive and do what you have to do."

Union Pacific Railroad sent KCRA 3 the following statement:

“Over the past year, Union Pacific has been working in partnership with many local jurisdictions to help abate blight and nuisance on UP private property. UP owns and operates a number of miles of railroad right of way in the city of Sacramento, and due to its location and nature, the UP right of way experiences trespassing, unlawful encampments, dumping, graffiti and other illegal activities by third parties from time to time, despite UP's efforts to protect against these activities.

“To further our shared interest in reducing illegal activity and improving public safety, a safety awareness and cleanup effort is underway along all UP right of way within Sacramento city limits. We will continue to work in partnership with local jurisdictions to identify innovative solutions to help mitigate concerns of local residents.”

The Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento County Sheriff's Office confirmed they work with Union Pacific regarding homeless issues and safety in and around their property.

The stretch of track falls under the jurisdiction of the Sacramento police. Officer Karl Chan of the Sacramento Police Department said in a statement:

"The Sacramento Police Department has worked with Union Pacific Police in the past to address specific problems such as trespassing along the right of way along railroad tracks."

The victim's family said more needs to be done.

"Some girl was saying he was standing on the railroad tracks, but why would he be standing on the railroad tracks if the train was coming unless he was pushed," said the victim's aunt, Lucy Valderrama. "He's not dumb to do something like that. That's not Mark. Mark wouldn't do something like that."

The Sacramento Police Department said investigators talked to witnesses and determined there was no foul play. The death investigation has been transferred to the coroner's office.

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