UPDATE: Coroner IDs woman struck, killed by train


A homeless woman struck and killed by a train Thursday has been identified as 53-year-old Susan Riley, born and raised in Newhall and, according to one relative, homeless by choice.

The woman, who was apparently trying to collect a couple of belongings that had spilled onto the railway tracks at the Metrolink Train Station in Newhall, was identified by Assistant Capt. Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical-Examiner Coroner Friday morning.

“An autopsy is pending,” Winter said.

The fatal collision happened just before 7 a.m. at the Metrolink train station on Railroad Avenue at Market Street, Sgt. Mike Pokorny said Thursday.

“It appears to be an accident. It was a woman. She is presumed, at this point, to be one of the local transient residents,” he said. An investigation into the collision is ongoing.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department pronounced the woman dead at at 7:10 a.m., Winter said.

Riley was born and raised in Newhall.  Her family still lives about three miles from the Metrolink Train station where she died.

“I’ve known her all my life,” said Richard W. Eichhorn who married a woman related to Susan Riley.

“Susan was homeless by choice,” he said. “She comes from a very good family, went to Hart High School. She was very healthy, very strong, very fit and very intelligent.”

She never married, never had children. Eichhorn described her as a rebel.

In 2010, Riley showed up to a family wedding. Eichhorn took the photo.

“She knew how to play the game. But, she rejected society and society’s rules,” he said.

She was artistic and “always carried a sketch pad,” Eichhorn said. “She was very bright, opinionated and extremely quirky.”

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