Man struck, killed by train was a former mayor of Del Mar: Lou Terrell remembered for his service

DEL MAR, Calif. - Friends are revealing new information about a former Del Mar mayor who was struck and killed by a train while chasing his dog.

Lou Terrell, 75, is described as a man who was well-respected for his dedication and love for serving his community.

"A tremendous, tremendous community leader always trying to help others," said friend and San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts.

No doubt, the former Del Mar mayor, city council member, and retired San Diego State University professor was involved in many community groups because he truly enjoyed helping people.

Terrell, a father and husband, was struck and killed by a train Friday afternoon as he chased his dog Abe across the tracks, trying to prevent his dog from getting hit. Many people are still having a tough time coping with the loss.

"If he only had the dog on the leash, it probably wouldn't have happened," said former county Supervisor Pam Slater-Price. "It's just so sad when something like that happens."

"To give his life because of the love of an animal … that to me really was what Lou was all about," said Roberts.

Family members were too shaken on Saturday to speak with 10News.

Roberts says Terrell and his wife had a tremendous impact in his life when he became a father.

"They were intimately involved in the creation of our family over the last 18 years here in San Diego County where we had adopted five county foster children," he said.

Those Terrell touched will get to pay their respects at a memorial at Powerhouse Community Center in Del Mar on Sunday, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. The memorial will be open to the public.

Slater-Price hopes Del Mar residents will find their own way to give back to the community as a tribute to Terrell.

"Trying to think of doing something for the community with Lou in mind 'cause that's the way to keep his memory alive," said Slater-Price.

Roberts hopes Sunday's ceremony focuses on how Terrell changed the city for the better instead of the tragic accident.     

"I just hope it's going to be a tremendous celebration despite the tragedy," said Roberts. "He just left such a legacy of positive things."

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