Portland State student Aaron Salazar was found seven months ago unconscious next to train tracks in Truckee, Calif. with unexplained, life-threatening injuries. Amtrak insists Salazar threw himself out of the train in a suicide attempt, but now after months of speech therapy, Salazar says that isn’t the case.
Aaron told his cousin, Sonia Salazar, he didn’t jump and that he was happy.
“He is 150 percent positive he would not do that,” Sonia said.
Aaron’s family has challenged Amtrak’s version of the story from the very beginning and continues to push for Amtrak to investigate Aaron’s case as an attack.
“We are trying to get Amtrak to investigate…we need to get this whole thing investigated,” Sonia said.
Amtrak’s Chief of Police, Neil Trugman, claims to have interviewed nearly 300 passengers who were on the same train, including the so-called new friend mentioned by Aaron to his great-grandmother in a text message, informing her that the two planned on having dinner in Sacramento.
Sonia explained to Vanguard that she has attempted to contact this person through social media, asking them to come forward and share anything that might help the case.
“We’ve never heard a single peep from this person,” Sonia said.
Since 2012, there have been several mysterious deaths involving Amtrak passengers.
“He’s not the first victim…I’ve found over 20 cases of [passengers] who have experienced [mysterious] injuries or death [dating back to the ‘70s]…and since 2009, about five to six,” Sonia said. “It’s like Amtrak is using some type of script [when passengers are missing or found dead], that they’re either distraught, confused or suicidal if they’re young.”
Aaron is currently being treated at Craig Hospital in Colorado and receives speech therapy 3–4 times a week.
“He doesn’t remember being on the train or in Denver…we’re hoping he will remember,” Sonia said.