UPDATE: Salazar’s Condition Improves, Amtrak Maintains Silence on Investigation

Aaron Salazar, left, pictured with his sister Alyssa. Photo courtesy of his family.
Aaron Salazar, left, pictured with his sister Alyssa. Photo courtesy of his family.

The severely injured Amtrak passenger, Aaron Salazar, who was mysteriously found next to train tracks outside of Truckee, Calif., is doing much better. That’s the latest from his family.

“He’s no longer bed ridden and is in a wheelchair,” said Salazar’s cousin Austin Sailas. Salazar has been transferred to Colorado for continued treatment and is able to eat food normally.

The Los Angeles Blade additionally quoted Sailas today: “When asked about the train, he sadly cannot remember, which…the doctor said is normal due to a mix of both the injury, and his brain protecting him from the traumatic event; although with time, and therapy he might be able to remember things on his own.” 

Those memories are what Amtrak officials said would be necessary to complete the investigation into what happened to him.

“The investigation remains open, pending any new information or the opportunity to interview Mr. Salazar,” said Amtrak spokesperson Christina Leeds. “After an extensive investigation by the Amtrak Police Department, in coordination with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, there is no indication of criminal activity at this time.”

Amtrak refuses to disclose most information found in their investigation. At a press conference in May, Amtrak’s Chief of Police, Neil Trugman, alluded to Salazar trying to commit suicide.

He repeatedly described Salazar as “distraught” and experiencing “life issues.”

“He had several conversations with passengers and crew while aboard that train,” Trugman said.

A text conversation to his grandmother in Hawaii, however, showed that he was looking forward to his next stop in Sacramento and going to spend time with a friend.

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Sailas said that Amtrak will only speak with Salazar’s family through a corporate lawyer.

Both Oregon’s and Hawaii’s congressional delegations have urged Amtrak to release a thorough investigation as quickly as possible.

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Bob Conrad is co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno and Conrad Communications, LLC, his marketing communications consulting company. He also works part time for the University of Nevada, Reno.