SAN JOSE (KRON) — The family of the man hit and killed by an Amtrak train on Wednesday is speaking to KRON exclusively.
KRON4’s Hermela Aregawi spoke with the niece of Julius Canales. Julius’s family said because he was deaf, he didn’t drive.
They said he has lived on the other side of these tracks for about 13 years. Julius would cross to get to the stores on the other side.
It is a route that his family said he’s taken countless times, but unfortunately, it cost him his life on Thursday.
Julius is known to his family and friends as JC. The 35-year-old lost his hearing at a young age due to an infection.
He would have been 36 next week.
His family describes him as an independent spirit regardless, and maybe because of the challenges he faced with being mute and deaf.
“He always wanted to do things on his own. He always wanted to in any way show that he could do it by himself,” Canales’s niece Jessica Martinez said. “He never wanted because of him being deaf be a problem or be an issue. People probably didn’t even know he was deaf because he did everything by himself. He did everything. It’s really hard. I tried to learn sign language and to, to you know, so I could. And he would just laugh at me, but he appreciated it. He was happy. He would never hurt anybody. He would never hurt himself.”
Jessica said the family is absolutely devastated and can’t think of much else at the moment.
But she said she has called Amtrak and is trying to figure out exactly what happened and if there are any safeguards that can be put in place to help someone like Julius who is deaf and can’t hear a train coming.
They say nothing can bring him back, but maybe they can stop something like this happening to someone else.