Aaron Salazar: “I Did Not Jump From The Train” (Watch Video)

Aaron Salazar, the young man who was found in May critically injured along train tracks outside of Truckee, Calif., continues to improve and is speaking.

A video shared by his family with ThisisReno shows Salazar saying that he did not jump from the Amtrak train he was riding from Denver to Sacramento.

“I did not jump off the train,” he said. “I’d never, ever try to kill myself.”

His statement contradicts what Amtrak’s Police Chief, Neil Trugman, said at a press conference in May. Trugman described Salazar as “distraught” while on the train between Reno and Truckee. The Chief claimed that, after the incident, Amtrak investigators spoke with 300 people as part of the investigation, including Salazar’s friends.

“He had several conversations with passengers and crew while aboard that train,” Trugman said. “He was very distraught. All indications right now appear that it was an attempted suicide. There’s nothing to suggest he involuntarily was removed from that train.”

Eyewitness Disputes Amtrak’s Version of Events

An eyewitness who was in the car with Salazar also disputed what Trugman told the news media.

The eyewitness said they were interviewed by Amtrak Police but said a number of obvious leads were not pursued or were dismissed by investigators. The eyewitness spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person believed that they were being subjected to investigation by the FBI, which called the person as part of the investigation.

“No one was walking back and forth throughout car pacing like they were in trouble,” the person said. “Nobody acted strangely, and hardly anybody was walking through the car.”

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

Since Salazar’s incident, some people have come forward with concerns about similar deaths or injuries sustained by passengers while traveling on Amtrak. Three people, for example, died or were found injured on the same train line — the California Zephyr — in Elko County since 2003. Similar incidences since 1990 have cause people to speculate that a killer may be traveling the rails. Critics said the deaths show that, at the least, security on Amtrak trains is lax and question why incidences continue to occur.

In August, Amtrak spokesperson Christina Leeds said that investigation is ongoing.

“The investigation remains open, pending any new information or the opportunity to interview Mr. Salazar,” she said. “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.”

Salazar’s family said Amtrak has made no attempt to contact him since he began speaking.

UPDATE (11/29/18): Amtrak today responded to the latest news of Salazar’s statement.

“We are glad Aaron is improving and look forward to talking with him and any other witnesses as part of the investigation,” said spokesperson Olivia Irvin.

Follow complete coverage of this incident here.

Bob Conrad
About Bob Conrad 987 Articles
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.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this effort to at least touch the surface of this matter. Obviously there is way more to the story and the preceding ones as well. One day…

  2. I wish Aaron the very best as he continues to recover.

    For others traveling alone by train, or even by freeway, between Sacramento and Denver, I do not recommend it. I commented on this once before here.

    I’ve taken the I-70 several times to Denver. Keep in mind that the KKK have a strong influence in much of Colorado. In western Colorado, they are west of Glenwood springs down to Grand Junction at night, there are brightly lit white crosses along I-70 and other “symbols.” Creepy. There are no signs for gas stations or motels.

    I spent a month in Grand Junction, a college town. Although there are no problems there, the surrounding towns have issues with white supremacists. They even attatched flyers on residents front doors in Grand Junction, trying to recruit members. Residents were outraged.

    In addition, Denver, is a very dangerous city since they have one of the strictest dark skies and sign ordinances in the nation. If you get lost, you could get in trouble. There is a huge homeless population.

    Denver could decide to revitalize itself, like Reno, Santa Fe, or Boulder. But it has not, and perhaps best to avoid it, unless you fly there. In Denver, three men were following me with Infragard surveillance in a motel. Scary. I checked out and went to Boulder.

    I could mention more comments about the I-70 route, severe Colorado government corruption, and other very dangerous highway / rail corridors, such as the 25 from Santa Fe (which is safe) to Pueblo (scary). Freeways, follow rail lines.

    And the corrupt police tried to arrest me in Eagle, CO for going 6 inches on a roundabout. Just a minor infraction.

    In urban planning we wish to warn others of government corruption and dangerous parts of the US. I would avoid all of Colorado except Boulder. While we do not know where the person originated from who attacked Aaron, my experience tells me it was probably Colorado. If you go to Colorado, please fly with a friend or significant other.

    All the very best to Aaron.

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