The man hit and killed by a passenger train in East Sacramento on his birthday Wednesday was a former student at California State University, Sacramento.
Erik Castillo, 27, of Sacramento, was hit by the Amtrak train on tracks that run along the southwest corner of the campus, near Folsom Boulevard and Elvas Avenue, at about 11 a.m.
Castillo was pronounced dead at the scene. Police officers with the Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks, will investigate the death.
Castillo last attended Sacramento State in the spring of 2015 and left without earning a degree. He studied mathematics and applied computing, a university spokesman said.
Castillo, a native of Los Angeles, graduated from Florin High School. He worked for the START school program at Peter Burnett Elementary School in Sacramento and had tutored at Mathnasium in Elk Grove.
“Today we learned about the terrible loss of a member of Peter Burnett’s expanded learning community,” Stacey Ault Bell, with the Sacramento City Unified School District, said in a written statement. “Erik Castillo worked with students in the before-school START program and in this summer’s SummerQuest program. We are deeply saddened by news of his passing.
“Mr. Castillo was a positive role model for children and will be hard to replace,” she said. “We are working closely with the school to ensure that students are supported and cared for as news of Mr. Castillo’s passing spreads.”
Heather Larrabee, owner of Mathnasium of Elk Grove, said the students Castillo tutored liked him.
“He had an enthusiasm for math,” Larrabee said. “He was very easygoing, laid-back. The kids took to that side of him – that he could work with them in a way that was not stressful, especially with a subject that can be very difficult.”
“He loved children and his main focus was helping children learn math,” said his sister Jessica Castillo.
St. Francis High School teacher Kathy Carlisle, 52, was hit by a Union Pacific train in 2012 in the same area where Castillo died.
Sacramento police said at the time that Carlisle was taking photos of an oncoming train near 65th Street and Elvas Avenue when she was hit from behind by a train coming in the opposite direction.