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Family grieving after the loss of grandfather hit and killed by train

Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 21:17:04-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The family of a man who was hit and killed by an Amtrak train Tuesday night is grieving and hoping he doesn't die in vain.

Wentian He, 79, was walking across the train tracks toward the bus stop when he was hit and killed by an Amtrak train, according to his daughter Lilian Zheng. Zheng said her parents were on their way home from shopping.

Wednesday, her mother was sobbing, saying she didn't want to live by herself.

Zheng said her parents were married 54 years and she saw her dad as a healthy man, young and strong.

"He really enjoy[ed] learning the streets, the culture, how to behave in this foreign country. He worked really really hard," she said he was part of the Communist Army in China and it took him a while to get 'un-brainwashed'.

Her parents emigrated to the U.S. in 2007 and she says they've been enjoying retirement, "They always together go out, they like to go to the senior center, because they can meet new people, they go to the flea market, or small shops so they can find unique stuff."

Those trips, now cherished memories.

Zheng hopes change can be made at the Washington Street station to protect people like her father. "The two tracks are so close they can cross, there is no [barrier] when Amtrak came, there should be a second gate," suggesting another barrier between the two sets of tracks.

"I feel life is so fragile, you know he's such a strong father and we've been depending on him," Zheng said tearfully, now they're leaning on each other.

Zheng has a sister and niece in China. She hopes to bring her sister to the U.S., so they may fulfill her father's wish to show her the U.S., and bring his remains home to China.